Streetwise Professor

February 23, 2011

So Much for the Honeymoon

Filed under: Economics,Energy,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 2:28 pm

In an interview with the WSJ, Igor Sechin pointedly suggested that Rosneft would like a seat on the BP board of directors (in exchange for a seat on the Rosneft board).

Seats on the board aren’t an “oh by the way” kind of thing.  They are the kind of thing that would normally be negotiated as part of a deal, and decided definitively before the deal was finalized.   Moreover, the I’ll give you a seat if you give me one is hardly balanced, given that as part of the stock swap Rosneft gets 5 percent of BP but the British company gets 9.4 percent of Rosneft.

So what does Sechin’s suggestion mean?  Is this hardball?: “Thanks for that deal.  Now I want more.”  With the implicit threat that if the request is not met Sechin and Rosneft may not be as accommodating as BP expected.

Or could this be a response to the BP’s difficulty with its TNK-BP partners?  Sechin discussed these difficulties during the interview.  One interpretation is that the board seat is Sechin’s price for making those troubles go away.  Or at least part of the price.

And if this is what Sechin is doing, I have to wonder whether he might have a hand in exacerbating those difficulties.  Perhaps not: perhaps he is just being opportunistic.  That would be in character.  But so would playing both sides against the middle.

Regardless, this rather audacious after-the-deal-is-supposedly-done proposal suggests that all will not be smooth sailing in the Rosneft-BP relationship.

Not that that should surprise anyone, least of all BP.

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13 Comments »

  1. BP = Being Played

    Comment by La Russophobe — February 23, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

  2. Armchair generals know it all.

    Comment by So? — February 23, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

  3. Meanwhile, the Russians continue their acts of state sponsored terrorism in Georgia.

    http://www.rferl.org/content/georgia_bombs_found_at_tv_station/2319317.html

    Comment by Andrew — February 24, 2011 @ 7:19 am

  4. SO? — And you, an Armchair Private, know even more than “all”, right?

    Comment by La Russophobe — February 24, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

  5. How about the terrorist Basayev’s widow on U.S. taxpayer funded radio in Georgia, Andrew?

    Comment by The Other Ivan — February 25, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

  6. Ivan, you nitwit, Osama Bin Laden appears on U.S. taxpayer funded broadcasts all the time. You see, unlike barbaric, illiterate, ape-like Russians, Americans want to know what their enemies are thinking. They’re not a weak society like Russia that fears truth, they embrace it in all its forms, knowing that only by doing so can they build a really strong and resilient society. That’s why the US has had stability of one government for 200 years, while Russia has collapsed over and over again.

    Until Russians learn to abandon their childish fear of facts and truth, imagining that problems go away if ignored, will the have any chance of survival in the modern world.

    Comment by La Russophobe — February 25, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

  7. @ “the other ivan” Moron, thats not Besayev’s wife, it is Alla Dudayeva, widow of Dzhokhar Dudayev, first president of the Chechen republic.
    Dudayev tried very hard to make Chechnya’s separation from Russia peaceful, after the overwhelming majority of Chechens voted for independence.
    Of course Russia proceeded to use force, and after Dudayev negotiated a peace agreement, the Russians then treacherously broke the agreement and invaded, much as they did to the Georgians in Abkhazia earlier.

    Try getting your facts right.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alla_Dudayeva
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dzhokhar_Dudayev

    Comment by Andrew — February 26, 2011 @ 12:05 am

  8. Like all Americans, my heart goes out to the BP executives who are now threatened by a prospect of a Russian getting to sit on their BoD. These BP executives, who have done so much to change the environment of the Gulf of Mexico, deserve better than to sit at the same table with a Russkie!

    Comment by Ostap Bender — February 27, 2011 @ 1:35 am

  9. Hmm, seems like the comment from “The Other Ivan” may well go down in history as the worst ever published on this blog:

    (1) No link to source material
    (2) Apparently, an absolute lie
    (3) Even if true, utterly oblivious of reality

    But stuff like this is totally normal in Russia, which of course explains why Russia is such a mess (i.e., doesn’t rank in the top 125 nations of the world for lifespan, kills more journalists than almost any other country, http://larussophobe.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/editorial-the-voice-of-russian-lies/, and #21 in the world for risk to personal safety and capital, http://www.maplecroft.com/about/news/gra_2011.html).

    With “friends” like Ivan, Russia needs no enemies

    Comment by La Russophobe — February 27, 2011 @ 10:18 am

  10. This particular, as you put it, “Russkie” represents a monopolistic state entity and not a competitive private company. That is more than enough reason to deny him any seats on any kind of boards and not the fact of his ethnic background or his current citizenship.

    Comment by LL — February 27, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

  11. LOL, Gostapo, you are forgetting that oil leaks the size of that in the Gulf happen every year in Siberia due to Russian incompetence and lack of concern for the environment. Around 15% of all oil extracted from the ground in Russia is lost in pipeline leaks due to lack of maintenance. Thats a hell of a lot of oil.

    Something that has not change d since your beloved Soviet times.

    Just think, if Russians got on the board of BP we would most likely see a disaster on that scale every few months.

    Comment by Andrew — February 27, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

  12. “With “friends” like Ivan, Russia needs no enemies” With Prokofy Neva, no one needs facts either, or to claim certain prizes from the eXile…I believe we do have a winner in the LR identity sweepstakes!

    Comment by The Other Ivan — February 28, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

  13. Ivan, is that how Russians apologize for lies when they are caught? Figures.

    Comment by La Russophobe — March 1, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

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