Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is not pleased the proposed $16 billion share exchange between BP and OAO Rosneft, Russia's largest oil company, fell apart and he is not holding back on spreading the blame for the failed deal, going so far as to take a shot a powerful aide to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
''Those who prepared the deal should have paid more attention to the details of the shareholder agreements and other details,'' Medvedev said, according to the Wall Street Journal. ''They should have done a more subtle due diligence inside the government. They should have agreed in advance to have fewer problems.''
The words appear to be a jab at outgoing Rosneft Chairman Igor Sechin. Rumors are swirling within Russia that Medvedev and Sechin have a burgeoning rivalry and with Russian elections looming next year, Medvedev may have been looking for an opportunity to take a swipe at Sechin.
BP (BP), Europe's second-largest oil company, says it is still talks with Rosneft, but it appears unlikely the two sides will be able to execute the share swap that would have seen the two companies partner to explore Russia's oil-rich Kara Sea. Russia's Arctic region may have up to 15 billion barrels of recoverable reserves.
Rosneft has confirmed it is in talks with BP's bitter rival Royal (RDS-A), Europe's largest oil company, Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX), the two largest U.S. oil companies, about replacing BP in the Arctic venture.