BP dismisses $250 oil, Russia row grows

Peter Sutherland, the chairman of BP, has branded as "apocalyptic" predictions of $250 for a barrel oil from Gazprom, Russia's state-backed energy giant, as the tortuous negotiations between BP and its own Russian partner took yet another twist.

Mr Sutherland told the European Policy Centre in Brussels that forecasts from Alexei Miller, the Gazprom chief executive, that oil prices would double within 18 months were unlikely. "Personally I don't believe in some of the more apocalyptic predictions," Mr Sutherland said. "I don't believe we're in for a spike to $250."

BP's chairman was speaking as his chief executive, Tony Hayward, predicted there would be no early resolution to discussions with AlfaAccessRenova (AAR), the Russian investors' group with which it co-owns TNK-BP.

Mr Hayward was speaking following another breakdown in talks over thefuture of the joint venture.

The four billionaire oligarch backers also announced they are to sue BP in a Stockholm arbitration court while lodging a separate suit in Moscowto oust TNK-BP's BP-nominated directors.

The power struggle between BP and AAR has been running at fever pitch since December's expiry of the venture's lock-in agreement. AAR is believed to be trying to take control of the company, which accounts for a quarter of BP's global production, to stave off a bid from the Russian state, in the form of Gazprom, that undervalued AAR's stake. Gazprom said earlier this week that it is interested in TNK-BP, although it will wait for a resolution of the current conflicts.

The problems in Russia highlight the BP chief executive's interpretation of his company's annual global energy report, published yesterday. Global production fell by 130,000 barrels per day (bpd) last year, and OECD countries' production fell for the fifth consecutive year, said the report, while energy usage of all types continued to rise. China accounted for 52 per cent of global growth, with usage up 7.7 per cent, compared with a 2.2 per cent drop in Europe.

But the big factor affecting energy supply is politics, says Mr Hayward.

"Declining oil production in the OECD highlights the fact that, while resources are not a constraint globally, the resources within reach of private investment by companies like BP are limited," he said.

"When it comes to producing more oil, the problems are above ground, not below it. They are not geological, but political."

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Highs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
News
news
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam