BP-Rosneft alliance inevitable
RT: What are the possibilities that this is the last nail in the Arctic deal for BP?
ML:"I don’t think this is going to be the last nail for BP with regards to the state’s Rosneft. I think that BP are still very desperate to get the deal underway despite the protestation from TNK-BP and they are likely to approach Rosneft in the very near future and try and strike a deal. I think BP has learnt a lot in the last few weeks with regards to what was going on with Rosneft and TNK and has basically got to bring the AAR who own that stake in TNK-BP back to the table and get them involved as well. So this is a deal that could happen. Rosneft are probably key for the deal to happen but Rosneft aren’t just looking at BP they look at other companies such as Statoil, Shell as possible partners for any exploration deals in the Arctic Circle."
RT: Are there any other partners that Rosneft could team up with?
ML:"Well there is also Exxon as well, but I think Rosneft will be very keen to get the deal done with BP, because everything that has been going on with BP over the last few years signals that BP are in a fairly weak position and it is unlikely that any other company, any other oil company is likely to offer the share swap deal that BP is offering. Also, I think it would be good for both parties as BP needs the explorations in the Arctic, so, it has got interests elsewhere in Brazil in the Middle East and around the UK but the Arctic Circle could be massive for it and it would be a fantastic deal for Rosneft as well."
RT: What lessons do you think BP and Rosneft have learnt from the saga?
ML:"I think that the main lesson they’ve learnt is not to leave third parties, those who have a potential interest out in that area, AAR and TNK, out of the frame. There has been a strong lesson learnt especially for BP, maybe not much for Rosneft and the chairman and the CEO, I think they have to bring the third parties into the deal otherwise the company continues in its weakening position if it carries on like that there could be some changes in the top level management and the company could be weak until the point where it is subject to a possible takeover."