Unexpected news like this makes it worthwhile to rise and shine each morning. After months of progressively heated squabbling and an expected breakup, it appears that the beleaguered TNK-BP partnership in Russia may be salvaged.
As most Fools know, the joint venture between BP
Until the good news broke, I wouldn't have given you a nickel for BP's ability to retain its stake in the unit. A complete loss of its interests -- even one involving some minimal (read: Russian-dictated) compensation -- would nevertheless have cost the British company about a quarter of its global production, and a fifth of its reserves.
But now the discord appears to have been at least patched up, if not totally repaired, under a new agreement between the quarreling factions. As part of the deal, BP will replace Dudley with a new Russian-speaking CEO, and float shares representing at least 20% of the company.
I suspect this surprise twist results from the damage Russia's reputation -- and its markets -- have sustained in the world community, given the TNK-BP debacle, the country's invasion of Georgia last month, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's rough approach toward Moscow-based metals company Mechel
Losing the TNK-BP assets would have severely wounded BP, which may explain why it trades at a discount to the Big Oil likes of Chevron
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