Business as usual for oil sector as CEOs get set to descend on St Petersburg for SPIEF

Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne

Senior executives from some of the world’s biggest oil companies –  including BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total – are planning not just to turn up but actively participate in the SPIEF forum in St Petersburg next week,  amid growing evidence that the sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea are being openly ignored. 
According to yesterday’s Financial Times it appears to be more or less business as usual for many oil conglomerates, with the newspaper  claiming that BP is close to agreeing a deal to acquire a 20% stake in a Siberian oilfield from Rosneft that could be worth $700m, and that  Eni and Statoil have also received approval  to continue work on their joint ventures with the state-run organisation. For its part, says the newspaper, Shell is also still working on its  Salym joint venture in West Siberia with Gazprom Neft,  and has applied for approval from the Dutch government to explore other projects.
Total’s Patrick Pouyanné and BP’s Bob Dudley are due to speak at one  of the forum’s discussion panels alongside Rosneft chief Igor Sechin, while Shell’s CEO Ben Van Beurden is set to share the stage with Gazprom supremo Alexei Miller. “Uncertainty is the rule of the game in this industry,”  Pouyanné said earlier this month. “We are in the long-term business. This is why at Total we are keen to maintain our commitment to Russia.”