Igor Sechin Hosts Tony Hayward

Fresh on the heels of his latest excursion to a yachting race, the embattled CEO of BP Tony Hayward is in Russia this week meeting with Igor Sechin, and apparently calm “fears” over the company’s operations in the country.

Actually, it’s not exactly clear what the two men were discussing, only what they were not discussing.  From Bloomberg:

The future of BP Plc Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward wasn’t discussed during talks with Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, an aide to the country’s top energy official said.

It’s funny how often we hear this kind of news of denials when it comes to the energy business, which only makes me feel like the opposite is true.  Does Sechin, powerful as he is, have enough heft to have influence over the replacement of Hayward?  Probably not – but it is very interesting that BP’s 1.3% stake in Rosneft (bought for $1 billion in 2006 in what appeared to be a pressured purchase – legitimizing the asset laundering of stolen Yukos property) is being pledged as collateral to banks in the fund raising effort to compensate damages from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.  This will be one area to keep track of, especially if a new owner were ever to come about within Rosneft.