BP empties stake in Russia’s Rosneft

The Kremlin is reflected in the glossy board of the state-controlled Russian oil giant Rosneft at the entrance to the headquarters in Moscow,

Dmitriy Kostyukov | AFP | Getty Images

British energy giant BP announce On Sunday, it offloaded its 19.75% stake in the Russian-controlled oil company Rosneft.

BP CEO Bernard Looney and former CEO Bob Dudley have also resigned from the Rosneft Board of Directors, effective immediately. Looney has been a director of Rosneft as one of the two directors nominated by BP since 2020. The company said Dudley has been a director since 2013.

BP has operated in Russia for more than 30 years, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine forced the company to reassess its holding.

“This military action represents a fundamental change,” BP President Helge Lund said in a statement. “This has led BP’s board of directors to conclude, after a thorough process, that our involvement with state-owned Rosneft simply cannot continue.”

BP was facing mounting pressure from the British government to give up its stake in the company. The Wall Street Journal I reported last week. The newspaper said British officials accuse Rosneft of fueling the Kremlin’s advance in Ukraine.

British Business Secretary Kwasi Quarting, who was said to have spoken last week with BP, said on Twitter that he welcomed the company’s decision.

“The unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine should serve as a wake-up call for British companies with business interests in Putin’s Russia,” Carting said.

Rosneft had contributed about a third of BP’s oil and gas production, according to the magazine.

As a result of offloading its stake, BP said it expects to report material non-cash charges with first-quarter 2022 results in May.

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