Can things get any worse for BP’s board? Having already lost Sir Tom McKillop, it is again under pressure because of connections with the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Corporate governance advisers Pirc are recommending shareholders vote against Peter Sutherland’s re-election as chairman due to his presence on the RBS board, and in particular on its remuneration committee. That committee approved former RBS chief Sir Fred Goodwin’s controversial £703,000-a-year pension plan.
Sutherland only agreed to stay on until the 2010 AGM when finding a replacement in time for this year’s meeting – which takes place next week – proved difficult. Read more
Uruguay has become one of the first countries to change the terms under which it hopes to attract companies to search for oil in the sediment beneath its waters. So far countries have been reluctant to accept that the tables have turned as the oil price has collapsed. Algeria stuck to its terms, and thus generated less interest than in the past for its round in December. Venezuela is dangling Orinoco contracts in front of companies, but behind the scenes is as ruthless as ever, oil executives say.
One exception is Iraq, which has modified its terms. But it is a special case because there is so much else for oil companies to worry about, including the safety of their staff and infrastructure amid the violence, and the sanctity of any contract they sign given the lack of an oil law. Read more
… where the biggest falls have been so far this year:
Source: Baker Hughes
By Neil Hume
Sibir Energy is fast shaping up as the worst scandal on record to hit Aim, London’s junior Aim market.
On Tuesday, the company revealed it was suing former directors Henry Cameron and Russian businessman Chalva Tchigirinski, in connection with “unauthorised payments”. The claim currently stands at a mind boggling $328m, although Sibir says that could rise to $400m.
The High Court in London has already granted a worldwide freezing order on Tchigirinski pending a full hearing of Sibir’s claim.
From today’s statement. Read more
Gazprom is in trouble. The Russian gas monopoly is struggling under the weight of the financial crisis, the drop in the rouble and the collapse of oil and gas prices. Its rating was downgraded last week, it has borrowed record sums and it is struggling to slow the decline of its older fields. The situation is a far cry from last year’s boast by Alexei Miller, the CEO, that the company would become the world’s largest by market capitalisation, surpassing $1,000bn; he also predicted oil prices would top $250 this year. But Gazprom has a big, powerful and moneyed friend in the Kremlin for whom the company is a strategic asset in economic and political terms.
Thus Gazprom is expected not to have to delay buying Eni’s 20 per cent share of Gazprom Neft, its oil unit, for $4.2 bn. Gazprom had been given the right to buy the stake when Eni purchased it in 2007 at an auction of assets formerly belonging to Yukos, the company Vladimir Putin dismantled and largely nationalised. So in fact, the stake was Gazprom’s to lose. Read more
Energy news from elsewhere:
- Eni, Gazprom poised to sign deal (Bloomberg) Read more
Energy news from the FT:
- Relentless tide of global hunger engulfs 1bn
Number of undernourished continues to grow Read more