BP (BP) CEO is traveling to Moscow to meet with a top deputy to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Igor Sechin. The meeting comes on the heels of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's call on Sunday for a special levy on oil companies to finance a fund dedicated to cleaning up the industry's environmental disasters, such as BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Medvedev made a proposal for a global pollution fund at the Group of 20 summit in Toronto, and in a communique, G-20 leaders appeared to agree on the need to share practices to protect the environment from such disasters. Medvedev further said Russia was about to introduce pollution legislation in the lower house of parliament to protect its coast from oil spills.
As for the meeting Monday between Hayward and Sechin, who oversees Russia's energy sector, neither side would comment on the specifics of the talks. But since approximately 25% of BP's output comes from its Russian-based joint venture, TNK-BP, Hayward's purpose is likely to reassure Sechin about BP's viability.
BP also has a 1.4% stake in Rosneft, the Russian state oil company whose board is chaired by Sechin. BP says it has no plans to sell the stake, but is reportedly putting it up as collateral for a loan to help cover the expenses of the U.S. oil spill, according to reports.
Sechin also said Monday he expected Hayward to resign soon, forcing BP to defend its chief. The company has said Hayward doesn't have plans to resign.
In the Gulf of Mexico, tropical storm Alex was complicating oil spill cleanup efforts. On Monday, the oil giant also said that the costs of cleaning up the oil spill have reached $2.65 billion, a $300 million increase from Friday's estimate.
In London trading, BP shares were up by around 0.5% Monday. In premarket trading on the NYSE, BP stock was up 2.5% Monday morning.
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