BP and Shell lead rush to exit Russia. There can be no going back

Oil is always a political business, and there’s no point pretending otherwiseFirst BP, now Shell. The rush to disinvest from Russia is impressively quick since it’s possible to imagine an alternative script in which the oil companies’ boards tried to buy time by issuing woolly “all options are open” statements. A definitive statement to sell its 20% stake in Rosneft (in BP’s case) and ditch all partnerships with Gazprom (Shell’s position) leaves no ambiguity. There can be no going back.The mechanics of the exit are yet to be determined, and BP’s route to disentanglement is probably simpler. The company has had a wild ride in Russia over the years (one minute it was fighting local oligarchs, the next it was in partnership with them), but since 2013 it has been reduced to the role of dividend-collecting passive investor in Rosneft. So it can either seek a buyer or accept whatever token sum of devalued roubles that the Russian company cares to offer. The latter looks more likely. Continue reading…

Oil is always a political business, and there’s no point pretending otherwise

First BP, now Shell. The rush to disinvest from Russia is impressively quick since it’s possible to imagine an alternative script in which the oil companies’ boards tried to buy time by issuing woolly “all options are open” statements. A definitive statement to sell its 20% stake in Rosneft (in BP’s case) and ditch all partnerships with Gazprom (Shell’s position) leaves no ambiguity. There can be no going back.

The mechanics of the exit are yet to be determined, and BP’s route to disentanglement is probably simpler. The company has had a wild ride in Russia over the years (one minute it was fighting local oligarchs, the next it was in partnership with them), but since 2013 it has been reduced to the role of dividend-collecting passive investor in Rosneft. So it can either seek a buyer or accept whatever token sum of devalued roubles that the Russian company cares to offer. The latter looks more likely.

Continue reading…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *