Daily Archives: May 14th, 2007

British Petroleum’s Oil Deals: Eastern Europe Style

When it comes to securing oil deals, British Petroleum plays up there with the best of them. After the fall of the old USSR, in was a free for all in the ‘Wild East’ of the former Soviet republics. Hoping to cut primo deals with the new governments of the newly independent republics, BP spared no expense:

BP executives working for Lord Browne spent millions of pounds on champagne-fuelled sex parties to help secure lucrative international oil contracts.

The company also worked with MI6 to help bring about changes in foreign governments, according to an astonishing account of life inside the oil giant.

Les Abrahams, who led BP’s successful bid for a multi-million-pound deal with one of the former Soviet republics, today claims that Browne – who was forced to resign as chief executive last month after the collapse of legal proceedings against The Mail on Sunday – presided over an “anything goes” regime of sexual licence, spying and financial sweeteners.

High life: Mr Abrahams, left, and another BP executive not linked to any impropriety with local girls in Azerbaijan

He also claims that Home Secretary John Reid was arrested at gunpoint on a BP-funded foreign trip for being out on the streets after a military curfew had been imposed.

Mr Abrahams tells how he spent £45 million in expenses over just four months of negotiations with Azerbaijan’s state oil company.

Armed with a no-limit company credit card, he ordered supplies of champagne and caviar to be flown on company jets into the boomtown capital, Baku, to be consumed at the “sex parties”.

I’m sure American oil companies spare no expense either when it comes to cutting primo oil deals. Somehow I don’t think they’re trying to offer up the same ‘goodies’ to the Iraqis that the British were offering in Eastern Europe because of Muslim sensibilities.

But maybe if the American companies used a little bit of honey to the right people instead of shoving vinegar down the Iraqis throats, progress could be made on all fronts. You never know until you try. Hookers, spies, cases full of dollars…how BP spent £45m to win ‘Wild East’ oil rights