Friday, July 25, 2008

Oops! Russia Just took over BP

What a jolly theoretical world. British Petroleum (or BP, or Beyond Petroleum, as its tagline goes) is having a little trouble with its Russian partners in a venture known as TNK-BP Ltd. In fact, the head of the BP venture, Robert Dudley, has just fled Moscow, officially because the Russians wouldn't renew his work visa. Unofficially, he's been barraged by threats and intimidation from the Russian consortium, AAR, which owns 50% of the venture.

The Russian government denies that it backs the effort to force out BP in order to nationalize the company. It won't get involved, it says. It's merely a matter between Dudley and the consortium's dissatisfied board and shareholders. But Dudley says he's been subject to investigations, intimidation and inquiries. The three Is.

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