While America is still pretty sore at BP for that whole oil spill debacle — the repercussions in terms of lawsuits and penance to pay is not over yet, oh no — Russia is being pretty darn friendly to them all of a sudden, a bit surprising considering how strained relations were between the company and the country several years ago, what with Bob Dudley, then head of TNK-BP, being forced into hiding there and all.
But the times have changed, the friendship bracelets have been passed…a transition smoothed by Russian restraint from hating on BP while Americans were protesting, smudging local gas stations with mud, and decrying the audacity of Tony Hayward. And maybe more importantly, a transition smoothed by oil and money.
According to the New York Times,
Russian companies are talking to BP about buying billions of dollars in oil fields and other assets to help it pay its gulf cleanup and compensation costs. Along with a partner, BP is planning to explore the rich oil fields in Russia’s Arctic waters, a sensitive region that is off limits in the United States and Canada.
“The bone of contention is largely removed,” said Vitaly Yermakov, the research director for Russian and Caspian energy at IHS CERA’s Moscow office, in a telephone interview.
Stan Polovets, the chief executive of the consortium that represents the oligarchic partners in TNK-BP, said BP now has an “outstanding relationship” with the TNK-BP team.
Okay, then. But are BP and Russia really BFFs now, or just L.C. and Heidi-style frenemies who must combine forces to further their own cause, only to explosively break with each other during a can’t-miss season three finale? Is America to blame for pushing the damaged BP into the arms of another, maybe even a Justin-Bobby? And what will happen next?
[via New York Times]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 28, 2010