The Missing BP Story
BP muscle obviously still counts for a great deal in Britain, and the concerted attempts of the establishment to try and spin the 'kiss and tell' disclosures of Lord Browne's former partner as being purely about Browne's sexuality [as if anyone is interested] made many suspect that the real story was being obscured.
The fact that the Mail's original story is still injuncted, whereas who Lord Browne choses to sleep with is now a matter of public knowlege confirmed the obfuscation in the eyes of many.
The Mail on Sunday said that it was Lord Browne who had "made his private life a public issue" by lying in court.
"We would like to reiterate that the story we originally sought to publish was a business story involving issues of great importance to shareholders and employers of BP," the paper said.
Well, it looks like the Mail had another crack [at BP, not Lord Browne] this weekend, as the following article appeared on their website on sunday.
Hookers, spies, cases full of dollars...how BP spent £45m to win 'Wild East' oil rights By GLEN OWEN
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.
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".
The hospitality continued in London, where prostitutes were hired on the BP credit card to entertain visiting Azerbaijanis.
Mr Abrahams, an engineer by training, joined BP in 1991, just as the disintegration of the Soviet Union had triggered a "new gold rush" by oil multi-nationals seeking a share of the 200 billion barrels of oil reserves beneath the Caspian Sea.
While employed by BP, Mr Abrahams says he was persuaded to work for MI6 by John Scarlett, now head of the service but then its head of station in Moscow.
He says he was passing information to Scarlett in faxes and at one-to-one meetings in the Russian capital.
He also claims that BP was working closely with MI6 at the highest levels to help it to win business in the region and influence the political complexion of governments.
Mr Abrahams worked for BP's XFI unit - Exploring Frontiers International - which specialises in opening new markets in often unstable parts of the world.
He said Lord Browne, then BP's head of exploration, allocated a budget of £45 million to cover the first year's costs of the Baku operation.
"The order came from Browne's aides to 'get them anything they want'.
"By 'them', they meant local officials in Azerbaijan," Mr Abrahams said.
"There were 20 or 30 people working on it at BP head office, and we soon had a steady stream of executives coming over as negotiators. We got through the money in just four months - after which it was simply increased without question."
He described a Wild West world in which oil executives with briefcases full of dollars rubbed shoulders with mafia members, prostitutes and fixers and cut their deals in smoke-filled back rooms...
Oh Yes You Can!
Oops, the link doesn't work. "Hookers, spies, cases full of dollars...how BP spent £45m to win 'Wild East' oil rights By GLEN OWEN" has been removed from the website...
BUT, thanks to Goole's cache, there is still a record of what we are apparently not allowed to read.
[Also archived here.]
I have no idea whether the story was D-Noticed, the subject of legal proceedings, simply removed after a John Reid threatened to send the boys around, or is just plain wrong... But it appears that there is a concerted effort from somewhere to try and protect the reputation of BP, if not that of it's ex boss.
Greater love hath no man than to lay down his reputation for his [ex]company.
[*Also via the Daily Hate, more on our delightful Home Secretary's charming behaviour with his female collegues. Same charm school as his mate Prezza, but rather less effective when it comes to actually getting what he wants. If anyone spots a denial from the thug himself, do let me know.]