This article was published in EurOil, 19 June 2012.

You could be forgiven for thinking BP’s luck had finally turned on 1st June 2012. That was the day the company received an ‘unsolicited’ offer for its half-share in the Russian joint venture TNK-BP, which analysts value at up to $30 billion. A week later, the Financial Times reported BP was ‘hoping’ to settle all criminal penalties and civil damages from the Deepwater Horizon disaster with the US authorities for less than $15 billion. So if all goes well, the company might soon be able to clear the last of its liabilities from the Macondo spill, dump the vexatious Russian oligarchs who have been its tormentors for almost a decade, and still have $15 billion in the bank to fund its ‘shrink to grow’ strategy. And with one bound they were free? Hardly. Even if all this went swimmingly to plan, the challenges that face BP remain existential.

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