TNK-BP unveils management committee as Barsky departs

TNK-BP stakeholders Alfa, Access, Renova (AAR) and BP PLC have agreed to form a new management committee that will run the Anglo-Russian firm on a day-to-day basis.

BP said the committee will be comprised of four executive directors along with the chief executive officer and chief financial officer. The decisions are expected to be formally approved by the board and implemented before yearend.

BP said the new management committee will include:

• Mikhail Fridman, who will continue to serve as the chief executive officer and executive chairman of TNK-BP for 2012 and 2013, when BP will nominate a chief executive officer to succeed him.

• Jonathan Muir, who will continue as chief financial officer and will be responsible for coordinating the work of the management committee.

• Viktor Vekselberg and German Khan, who will continue as AAR-nominated executive directors.

• Alexander Dodds, who will serve as the BP-nominated executive director responsible for upstream activities.

• A BP-nominated executive director responsible for downstream activities has been agreed and will be named later.

Deputy CEO position abolished

BP also said the position of deputy chief executive officer will be abolished following the departure of Maxim Barsky on Nov. 1.

Fridman was appointed interim chief executive officer after TNK-BP’s first chief executive, Bob Dudley, was forced to leave Russia in 2008 at the high point of a conflict between BP and AAR.

Barsky had been tapped in November 2009 as the firm’s chief executive-in-waiting, but BP and AAR decided to delay his accession to the top position until Jan. 1, 2010, in order to give him an extra year of training and industry seasoning.

“I am pleased that the shareholders of TNK-BP have agreed this plan,” said BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward at the time. “We are all agreed that Maxim Barsky has the capabilities to lead the company into its next phase of development, and confident that the further experience he gains in the coming year will fully equip him for the task of CEO (OGJ Online, Nov. 19, 2009).”

But due to subsequent disagreements between BP and AAR, Barsky's advance to the top position was postponed indefinitely, prompting his eventual decision to resign effective Nov. 1.

Although relations between BP and AAR still remain somewhat uneasy, analyst Andrew Neff of IHS Global Insight said the two companies have at least managed to achieve an “uneasy” working partnership with the their new agreement.

“The two core shareholders in TNK-BP have forged an uneasy working partnership, with both BP and AAR accruing significant benefits from their respective stakes in Russia's third largest oil-producing company,” said Neff.

“Neither BP nor AAR is content with the opposite side, but neither firm is willing to forego the promise of future profits by selling out to its estranged partner,” said Neff.

Last week, TNK-BP Group said it was awarded the license to operate Vietnam’s offshore natural gas Block 06-1, which it last year agreed to purchase from BP PLC (OGJ Online, Oct. 21).

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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