Ganging up on BP?
13 August 2008
As if BP hasn’t got enough problems with its operations in the former Soviet Union, a Moscow court was reported on Thursday (August 14) as having suspended Robert Dudley as chief executive of TNK-BP. The suspension will run for two years, which must be a massive blow to BP’s involvement in Russia’s second largest oil company.
Has BP boss Tony Hayward got more problems?
BP said it would appeal against the decision, insisting that Dudley remained chief executive and would continue to run the company from a secret location outside Russia until the appeals process had been exhausted.
The court decision came amid an intense public battle for control over the 50/50 partnership between BP and its Russian shareholders, Mikhail Fridman, German Khan, Viktor Vekselberg and Len Blavatnik.
BP was, not unsurprisingly, ‘very disappointed’ by the decision and claimed that Dudley had the company’s full support. In an e-mailed statement, Dudley suggested that this was another example of the administrative interference, he has been experiencing since he left Russia.
Russian shareholders have in the past denied any connection to the inquiries and investigations targeting the company. BP can appeal against the decision but a court review could be months away.
Dudley has been running TNK-BP from a secret location since he fled Russia last month citing concerns over systematic harassment as the dispute over strategy, planning and the running of the company escalated.
Tony Hayward, BP chief executive (pictured right) said last month that Dudley could remain at the head of the company while outside Russia only for a matter of months.
It would be good to hear from readers who have had experiences in the field, especially when operating in the more volatile areas of the World or perhaps have a view on BP’s operations.
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