BP chief to meet Russia's energy czar: spokesman

28th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

BP chief Tony Hayward was on Monday to meet with the Russian government's energy supremo Igor Sechin as the oil giant wrestles with the liabilities from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

"It will take place today," spokesman for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, told AFP, referring to the meeting with Sechin, deputy prime minister with special responsibility for energy issues.

"They will discuss issues related to the company's operations in Russia," he said, declining to be more specific. Peskov said a separate meeting with Putin was not planned.

The Financial Times reported this month Hayward wanted to travel to Russia to reassure President Dmitry Medvedev that the oil spill would not affect the company's operations.

BP is present in Russia through TNK-BP, the country's third largest oil producer, accounting for roughly a quarter of BP's global production.

Medvedev in an interview with the the Wall Street Journal this month questioned whether the environmental catastrophe would lead to the "annihilation" of the British oil giant.

The company this month announced a 20-billion-dollar compensation fund to deal with claims arising from the Gulf of Mexico spill.

A Kremlin spokesman said Medvedev "so far" had no plans to meet the oil giant's chief executive.

Vladimir Buyanov, a Moscow-based spokesman for BP, confirmed that Hayward planned to travel to Russia on a two-day visit but declined to release further details, adding only that Hayward regularly visits Russia.

© 2010 AFP

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