LONDON Jan 31 David Peattie, the head of
British oil company BP's often fraught Russian business,
is leaving to run privately-owned North Sea oil producer
Fairfield Energy, the companies said on Thursday.
The move comes as BP plans to sell its stake in its main
Russian investment, TNK-BP - one of the country's biggest oil
BP also said it appointed Michael Townshend, who is now in
charge of company's business in Iraq, as BP's head in Russia
starting from March 1.
Townshend has worked in a number of countries for BP,
including Azerbaijan, where the British major has recently had a
series of disputes with the local government over falling oil
He has been a non-executive director of BP's Russian joint
venture, TNK-BP, since 2011. TNK-BP, Russia's
third-largest crude producer, is in the midst of a $55 billion
takeover by state-owned Rosneft.
As a result of the deal BP would get two seats on Rosneft's
board. Earlier on Thursday, Rosneft's head Igor Sechin said he
would welcome BP's CEO Robert Dudley to the board.
Peattie was one of a generation of managers at BP, including
former chief executive Tony Hayward, that were seen as possible
future leaders of the company. He will continue to sit on the
board of TNK-BP until BP completes the sale of its half share to
Fairfield Energy is owned by a consortium of private and
institutional investors from Europe and North America led by
private equity firm Warburg Pincus and investment house
Riverstone, where former BP CEO John Browne is a partner.
Peattie, a 32 years veteran of BP, succeeds Chris Wright at
BP decided to sell its TNK-BP stake last year after years of
spats with its oligarch co-owners.