Tony Hayward steps down to run TNK-BP Russian oil venture

pipes spilling black goo into a pond in winter setting

Tony Hayward is stepping down as CEO to spill oil for TNK-BP in Russia, but U.S. Senators want to ask him about the BP-Libya oil deal before he goes to Moscow. Flickr photo.

BP’s CEO Tony Hayward was expected to resign Monday after a meeting in London to decide his fate. Instead, he’s being shuffled off to Russia, where he will direct BP’s role in TNK-BP, a joint venture considered one of BP’s plum projects. After cultivating a reckless culture that led to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico 2010 and then botching BP’s response, Hayward seems to be wiggling off the hook. But before he flies to Moscow, some U.S. senators would like to ask him some questions about a BP-Libya oil deal they think influenced the release of a convicted terrorist.

Tony Hayward’s Russia assignment is ironic

Tony Hayward will step down as BP’s CEO in October. The New York Daily News ran an Associated Press report that said Hayward will likely be replaced by Robert Dudley, the man who replaced Hayward as BP’s director of the oil spill response. Hayward will serve on the board of BP’s Russian venture TNK-BP. Ironically, Dudley once headed TNK-BP and had to flee from Russia in 2008 after he ran afoul of authorities there.

Dudley’s TNK-BP tenure did not end well

Tony Hayward’s new post at BP’s 50-50 joint venture with Russian oligarchs suggests that his company still thinks more of him than most Americans and the U.S. political establishment. The Washington Post reports that analysts consider the TNK-BP venture one of BP’s crown jewels, accounting for a quarter of BP production. But it is a problematic one as proven by Robert Dudley, who was forced to leave Russia after a fight with Russian shareholders.

BP oil spill costs: as high as $30 billion

Tony Hayward’s new job announcement comes a day before BP announces earnings for the second quarter. CBS News reports that number is expected to be $5 billion, but those profits are swamped by BP oil spill costs. Last week the company said its oil spill costs have totaled about $3.95 billion. Analysts say BP’s total bill for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico 2010 could be as high as $30 billion.

Did Tony Hayward make the BP-Libya oil deal?

Tony Hayward may be stepping down, but that won’t stop U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Kirsten Gillibrand from trying to haul him before Congress. The New York Observer reports that the senators will be holding a July 29 hearing into the release of the Lockerbie bomber and told the press they want to hear from Hayward. The senators have been pushing British officials for weeks to conduct a full investigation of the links between a BP-Libya oil deal and the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdul Baset al-Megrahi. Menendez said he believed Hayward was in the middle of negotiations with the Libyans during the oil deal.

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