The sordid TNK-BP partnership squabbles, which could someday be the stuff of a film, continue to worsen for London-based BP
In the adventure's latest act, James Owen, TNK-BP's independent CFO, began this week by stepping down from his post amid the worsening struggle between BP and its three Russian billionaire partners. Nearly two weeks ago, the Russian partners forced the partnership's CEO, Robert Dudley, to skedaddle from Russia. The trio had registered a string of progressively more severe complaints against Dudley, who is now trying to run things from Central Europe after Russian officials refused to renew his visa.
Dudley's long-distance efforts (which you have to believe won't be workable for long), along with Owen's departure, will make it easier for the Russian partners to gain control of TNK-BP. Indeed, I'm betting that BP will be squeezed out of the picture before long.
BP's difficulties in Russia follow the stripping of Royal Dutch Shell
All this has giant implications for BP and for other companies -- France's Total
As for other companies and prospective investors, Dmitry Medvedev has now held Russia's presidency for about three months. In that time, the Russian state and its companies haven't given any indication that they're going to be better playmates than they were under Vladimir Putin, who now operates as Russia's prime minister. It's a dose of reality that all Foolish investors should take to heart.
For related Foolishness: