The British energy giant BP announced Sunday that it would be selling 19.75% of its stake in Rosneft, a Russian oil company.
Former execs, Bob Dudley and Bernard Looney are also stepping down from Rosneft’s board, effective immediately. Since 2020, Looney has been one of two BP-nominated directors of Rosneft.
After more than 30 years of operations in Russia, BP has been forced to reassess its presence due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
BP chair Helge Lund said in a statement that this military action represented a fundamental change. “The board of BP has concluded, following a thorough review process, that the company’s involvement with Rosneft, a state-owned enterprise, is simply not sustainable.”
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal last week, BP was facing increasing pressure from the British government to sell its stake in the company. A British newspaper reports that British officials have accused Rosneft of fuelling Moscow’s advance into Ukraine.
According to reports, Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK’s business secretary, met with BP last week and welcomed the decision.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kwarteng said, must be a wake-up call for British companies interested in doing business in Putin’s Russia.
BP’s oil and gas production were largely accounted for by Rosneft, according to the Journal.
According to BP, it is estimated that its first-quarter 2022 results will reflect a material non-cash charge due to the offloading of its stake.