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Due to the complex relationship with Rosneft, the new chief executive of BP, a large shareholder in Russia’s oil giant, will not take any of BP’s two seats on Rosneft’s board, leaving the seat to outgoing CEO Bob Dudley because of his experience and ties with Russia, even after Dudley retires in March, Reuters reported on Wednesday, quoting five sources from BP.
BP holds nearly 20 percent in Russia’s largest oil producer, which is the single largest investment of the UK-based supermajor and which contributes around one third to BP’s total oil and gas production.
Dudley plans to leave, and BP said in early October that Bernard Looney, currently chief executive at the upstream division, will succeed Dudley as group chief executive and join the BP board on February 5, 2020. Dudley has decided to step down as CEO and from BP’s board following delivery of the company’s 2019 results on February 4, 2020 and will retire on March 31, 2020.
Dudley has reportedly said in private discussions that he wanted to retire from the CEO job at BP at the age of 65. He turned 64 in the middle of September.
Being a large shareholder in Rosneft, BP has two seats on the board of the Russian oil giant, but considering the complexity of the relationship between the UK-based company and the Russian firm, Dudley and Looney have decided that Dudley will keep one of BP’s seats on Rosneft’s board, according to Reuters sources.
Commenting on the report, BP said in a statement sent to Reuters:
“With his unrivalled experience of both the international oil industry and Russia, Bob will continue to provide valuable experience on the Rosneft Board.”
Rosneft has been already told that Dudley would keep his seat on the Russian company’s board, although it was not immediately clear how long that arrangement would last, the sources told Reuters.
According to a source close to Rosneft, the arrangement would be beneficial for both BP and Rosneft. Not having the CEO sitting on the board of an oil company under U.S. and EU sanctions is positive for BP, while keeping a trusted friend like Dudley will be good for Rosneft, the source told Reuters.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oiilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.