BP exits stake in Russian oil and gas company Rosneft

BP said on Sunday it was dumping its stake in Rosneft, a state-controlled Russian oil and gas company, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

BP has held a 19.75% stake in Rosneft since 2013. This stake is currently valued at $14 billion.

London-based BP also said its CEO, Bernard Looney, and former BP executive Bob Dudley would immediately resign from Rosneft’s board.

“Like so many others, I was deeply shocked and saddened by the unfolding situation in Ukraine and my heart goes out to everyone affected. This has caused us to fundamentally rethink BP’s position with Rosneft,” Looney said in a statement.

BP Chairman Helge Lund said BP has been operating in Russia for more than 30 years.

“However, this military action represents a fundamental shift,” Lund said in a statement.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Britain’s secretary of state for business and energy, said he welcomed BP’s decision.

“Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine should be a wake-up call for British companies with business interests in Putin’s Russia,” Kwarteng said in a tweet.

BP said it would take two non-cash charges in the first quarter to reflect the change, including an $11 billion charge for foreign exchange losses that have accumulated since 2013.

Rosneft’s partnerships with Western oil and gas companies have already been blocked.

In 2011, Exxon Mobil, led at the time by future US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, signed a deal with Rosneft to potentially drill in the oil-rich Russian Arctic. But Exxon ended that partnership in 2017, citing US and European sanctions against Russia.