BP and Russia’s biggest oil producer Rosneft announced on Wednesday in Davos that the partners have agreed to expand the scope of their alliance and venture into third countries and the European refining sector.
“It is a historic development for BP, for our industry, for Russia and I believe for the wider world of the global energy”, said BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley at a joint press conference attended by both Russian government and Rosneft officials, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meet in Switzerland.
“Not only we are developing resources in the Arctic but extending European refining and further global upstream cooperation between our companies”, he added.
Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said that Rosneft is open to the idea of cross representation in either company’s boards.
Dudley’s announcement came hours before the meet’s inaugural speech was due to be delivered by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev – the first by any Russian leader in the meet.
Earlier in this month, BP had signed a multi-billion dollar share swap deal with Rosneft, which analysts believe will bolster Russia’s image as an investment destination.
Dudley said that BP will abide by all agreements that it had executed with its previous joint venture in Russia – the TNK-BP oil consortium. Sechin also said that the present deal will not undermine the TNK-BP venture, terming it as an independent and successful business enterprise.
However, TNK-BP shareholders were not convinced about BP’s priorities in Russia and said they want additional information about the BP-Rosneft deal.