January 19 - 25 2011
μWorld News PAGES 14-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μ Features PAGES 24-26
μExpat Life PAGES 29-32
μBusiness PAGES 33-37
Presenter’s victory Ruling against BBC paves way for a flood of ageism claims
We’ll wade on, as we always do Andrew Mueller on Australian fortitude in the face of raw nature
EXPAT LIFE P32
Rock’s hard place Neil McCormick salutes the end of a musical era
Lapp of luxury The Britons putting down roots in Europe’s last great wilderness
12 11 17 19 24 47 7 8 21 24 33 34
Bonus Ball 37
Bonus Ball 2
There were no winners of Saturday’s £6.7m jackpot and no one won Wednesday’s £2.1m prize
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By Rowena Mason and Richard Blackden RUSSIA’S Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, has promised to give BP “the most favourable tax treatment” in the Arctic as its £10 billion deal with the Kremlin was greeted with cautious optimism by investors.
Last week, BP agreed to issue £5billion of shares to Russian state-backed oil company Rosneft, giving it the second-largest stake in the British company.
HoweverUS congressman Edward Markey, a prominent Democrat who led investigations into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last year, questioned the deal on grounds of “national and economic security”.
He claimed that “BP once stood for British Petroleum. With this deal, it now stands for Bolshoi Petroleum”.
Both the British Prime Minister and Mr Putin have backed the alliance that will see the two companies collaborate on difficult Arctic drilling.
The potential reserves at stake are 5billion tonnes of oil and 10 trillion cubic metres of gas – the amount in the entire North Sea before it was exploited by the energy majors.
These fields are likely to start producing within a decade and will require considerable capital investment from both sides.
“The Russian government intends to create the most favourable tax treatment for this project,” Mr Putin said. “These are serious figures that need further confirmation, but they are quite realistic and I hope that these estimated resources will become proven reserves.”
The choice of BP to partner Rosneft is likely to be seen as a coup for the British oil company – and a blow for US rivals such as ExxonMobil – especially if it is treated to tax breaks. However, oil companies, including BP, have been forced to retreat from Russia in the past and some investors expressed surprise about the choice of Rosneft as a partner.
One top-20 investor in BP said that, while his fund was open-minded about the deal, he would be keeping a close eye on corporate governance issues and any exchange of board members. He had not been briefed on the deal in advance.
“BP has good relations and history there. But Rosneft is a strange person to choose as a white knight,” he told The Telegraph.
“They didn’t go to China, They didn’t go to Kuwait. You’d have thought they
Dudley: forward thinking
Putin: tax breaks incentive might have found someone else. But things are getting hard in the Gulf of Mexico and so going East does make some sort of sense. There are clearly going to be a lot of governance issues. We’re going to have to look at oversight and also calculate the dilution properly.”
Other shareholders contacted by The Telegraph were tentatively positive, saying that they were keen to see how the deal fits into the strategic review by the BP chief executive, Bob Dudley, which is due to be announced within weeks.
The planned Arctic exploration will allow BP to regain its global prominence in deepwater drilling following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that saw its value halve to less than £60 billion. The share price has risen 70pc to 496.5p since then. UStraded BP shares had climbed 4pc on speculation about a tie-up last week but lost 1pc to $48.98 in after-hours dealings.
BP could not say whether shares would be issued to Rosneft in time for it to benefit from BP’s first dividend since the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The Rosneft shares would have to be created before February 9 for the Russian company to gain. It would get a dividend of around $100million if payments are made at a rebased level of 10 cents.
BP suspended two quarters of $2.5billion payments under pressure from the US over the summer, as it set aside $40 billion to help pay for compensation for the oil spill and environmental damage. ÞThe oil company formerly run by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the imprisoned oligarch, has fired off a warning to BP shareholders, saying their deal with the Kremlin is founded on “illegal auctions, bogus bankruptcy fire-sales and expropriations”.
Yukos, formerly Russia’s biggest oil producer, said that BP’s investors “should be concerned” about their agreement to issue £5billion in shares to Rosneft.
Rosneft swept up most of the oilfields that had belonged to Yukos after Mr Khodorkovsky was convicted of fraud in 2003.
A spokesman for Yukos said the assets that ended up with Rosneft – and are now partowned by BP – had been taken from 55,000 former shareholders in the company.
A BP spokesman said: “We have been a shareholder in Rosneft since 2006 and this is just deepening that. We are going into this with our eyes wide open.”
By Martin Evans and Richard Savill DETECTIVES hunting the killer of Joanna Yeates are considering taking DNA samples from suspects questioned during a similar murder investigation 37 years ago, sources have claimed.
Glenis Carruthers, 20, a student teacher, was strangled in 1974 yards from where Miss Yeates lived in the Clifton area of Bristol.
Her killer was never found but detectives undertaking a cold case review of the murder have been working closely with officers in the Yeates investigation after identifying a series of “startling” similarities in the two cases.
Both women had been strangled, were found fully clothed and had not been sexually assaulted. They both appeared to have died quickly without putting up a struggle and in both cases the victims were found without shoes.
More than 16,000 people were questioned about Miss Carruthers’s murder in 1974
Detectives are considering a link between the murder of Joanna Yeates (left) and a young woman killed in 1974
and now officers in the Yeates investigation are considering taking DNA samples from some of those interviewed at the time.
A source close to the investigation said: “There are a number of startling similarities between the two cases, despite the huge timegap. DNA testing can eliminate people very quickly and so can be very useful in narrowing the scope of the inquiry.
“As there is already a cold case review into the Carruthers murder taking place, it would be a relatively simple task to pinpoint anyone of interest and rule them out.”
Forensic teams are believed to have recovered a small DNA sample from a spot of saliva on Miss Yeates’s body.
Experts have said the tiny swab could provide the breakthrough they have been looking for in tracing her killer.
Dr Carolyn Morton, a lecturer in forensic science at the University of the West of England, said: “If they do have a saliva test and it is a pure sample from one person, it is absolutely brilliant news.
“They then just have to check who or find out who the owner is. It is a very strong lead and line of inquiry.”
It is more than four weeks since Miss Yeates’s body was found at the side of a road three miles from her flat in Canynge Road.
Meanwhile, a “highly significant” clue has been handed to officers investigating the murder.
Last week detectives ordered urgent soil and pollen tests on the item that was passed on by a member of the public.
Police have denied that it is the 25 year-old’s missing ski sock. There was only one grey, knee-length sock on Miss Yeates’s body.
Detectives are also keen to trace a Tesco Finest mozzarella and tomato pizza bought by the landscape architect on the night she went missing. No trace of the pizza or its packaging have been found.