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BP in Russia: A Quarter of Production, No Big Deal!

It seems that Tony Hayward, the new chief executive of British Petroleum, does not respect your intelligence.

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What, me worry?

He was quoted by several news stories circulating today regarding BP’s “upbeat” attitude in Russia despite the regulatory attack on their enormous investment at Kovykta, and how they plan to ride this problem out and stay for the long term. He saysRussia, like anywhere, has its risks. You only have to look at BP’s experience in the US over the last two years to understand that doing business anywhere in the world can be challenging from time to time. Russia is no different,” and describes Kovykta as “one of those bumps in the road, which we all have to navigate occasionally.” How gullible does Hayward think his audience is? We are talking about the future of British Petroleum being held hostage by siloviki thugs inside the Kremlin – and Hayward wants to pretend like TNK-BP, which is responsible for a whopping 25% of the company’s annual production, is no big deal? This threat is just a “bump in the road?” Is there any doubt that BP is playing Moscow Rules, and saying what they have to say to please the Kremlin rather than what they believe?