Simon G. Kukes

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Simon G. Kukes (1947- ) a Russian-born American, "has been named to replace Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky to head Russia's largest oil company, Yukos (YukosSibneft Oil Company), the company said in a statement posted on its website. 4 November 2003

Kukes "has been nominated to head the board of directors, the statement said. ... Kukes, a member of Yukos' board of directors, emigrated from the Soviet Union to the United States in the 1970s but has since returned to Russia. He once worked for Russian oil company TNK."[1]

Biographical Profile

July 31, 2001:

"Kukes, a chemical engineer who holds more than 100 U.S. and Russian patents, has been president and CEO of Tyumen Oil since 1998. He has overseen a dramatic corporate restructuring that has attracted Western technology and investment. From 1979 until he joined Tyumen Oil, he held positions at Yukos, Amoco Oil, and Phillips Petroleum. In the late 1970s, Kukes conducted scientific research and taught at Rice University in Houston. Earlier this year, Kukes became the first Russian member of the board of directors of the Washington-based U.S.-Russia Business Council, the preeminent U.S. organization promoting trade between the two countries. He also serves on the boards of Parker Drilling Company and the Foreign Policy Association. Kukes graduated from Moscow's Chemical Technology Institute in 1969 with high distinction and from the USSR Academy of Science in 1973 with a PhD. He has been a U.S. citizen since 1982."


  • President, TNK and Chairman, Board of Directors, YUKOS (as of June 18, 2003).[2]
  • Former Member of the Board of Directors, OAO Sidanco.
  • 2000 - Former Member of the Board of Directors, OAO ONAKO.
  • 1998 - Member of the Board of Directors; member of the Management Board, President, OAO TNK.
  • 1996-1998 First Vice President, Member of the Management Board, YUKOS.
  • 1986-1996 Technical Director; Director of the International Department of Oil Refining, Marketing and Transportation, Amoco Oil Company, Moscow.
  • 1979-1986 Technical Director, Philips Petroleum Company (ConocoPhillips), Oklahoma.
  • 1973 Received a Ph.D. from the Scientific Institute of the USSR, Academy of Sciences.
  • 1969 Graduated from the Mendeleev Moscow Chemical Technologies Institute with a specialization in the Technology of Vacuum Processes.

Note: OAO Sidanco and OAO TNK (TYUMEN Oil Co.) now link to THK-BP/TNK-BP web site.

Corporate Profile

"Considered one of Russia's most respected senior executives, Simon G. Kukes is chairman of the board of YUKOS, Russia's largest vertically integrated oil company, with $11.4 billion in revenues and 69.5 million tons of oil production in 2002.

"His appointment as chairman followed a distinguished five year tenure as president and CEO of Tyumen Oil Co.(TNK), Russia's third largest vertically integrated oil company. The culmination of Mr. Kukes' career at TNK was that company's successful merger with BP Russia in 2003.

"Mr. Kukes began his career in the United States in 1979. In the 1980s he worked as a technical director for Phillips Petroleum and Amoco. From 1993 to 1996, as a Vice President of Amoco he was responsible for downstream Business Development in CIS countries. In 1996, Mr. Kukes joined YUKOS as senior vice president of strategic planning and corporate development. That same year, he played an active role in restructuring the company's business. In January 1997, Mr. Kukes was appointed to the board of directors and named first vice president of YUKOS in charge of sales and marketing. In 1998, Mr. Kukes became president and CEO of TNK. In 2003, he played an active role in the TNK BP merger process.

"During his tenure at TNK, Mr. Kukes and the company he headed received several awards. In 1999, The Wall Street Journal named Simon Kukes one of Central Europe's top managers. In 2000, he was named best manager in Russia by the journal Kompaniya. During the same year, the influential British publication, Financial Times Energy, ranked TNK, headed by Mr. Kukes, as the best international oil company. In 2002, US based Oil& Gas Investor journal presented TNK with the 'Outstanding Achievement in Corporate Governance' award.

"In June 2003, after being chairman of the YUKOS board of directors, Mr. Kukes stepped down as TNK's president. Mr. Kukes is co chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Open World Leadership Center under the auspices of the US Library of Congress, an honorary member of the US Foreign Policy Association and a member of the board of directors of Parker Drilling Company, Inc., the U.S.-Russia Business Council and the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. Mr. Kukes holds a bachelor's degree in science with honors from the Moscow Institute for Chemical Technology and a Ph.D. from the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. He completed his post doctoral studies at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Mr. Kukes holds 130 US patents and has authored over 60 publications."

Yukos Oil Brochure.

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links

  • Financial Times, November 27, 1999: "Chernogroneft was sold out of bankruptcy to the Tyumen Oil Company after BP Amoco had declined overtures by Tyumen to enter into a strategic alliance. According to Howard Chase, BP Amoco's director for external affairs in Russia, 'The entire bankruptcy has been subject to major manipulation. In many ways this decision has damaging implications for foreign investors. BP Amoco will be very carefully reviewing its business position in Russia.' ... Simon Kukes, chairman of Tyumen, defended his company saying that Tyumen had followed 'international standards of corporate governance and ethical behavior,' and that the purchase was made in a competitive auction."
  • Tyumen Oil's Kukes named to board of Parker Drilling, The Russia Journal, July 29, 2000: "Kukes attended his first board meeting Wednesday, becoming what is believed to be the first Russian CEO on the corporate board of a major American NYSE-listed company. ... 'Simon Kukes can help Parker maintain and expand its role as the dominant Western contractor in the Caspian and Kazakstan regions,' said Robert L. Parker, Jr., president and CEO of Parker Drilling. ... Parker Drilling said it has been active in the former Soviet Union for more than 10 years, with projects in the Caspian Region, Kazakstan, Russia and Sakhalin Island."
  • Lawrence F. Kaplan, From Russia With Loans, The New Republic, August 7, 2000. Article links Kukes with the Halliburton Company and Dick Cheney. It also indicates that Kukes is not "such a nice guy."
  • A Slick Move in Russia's Oil Patch? Giant TNK is out to grab a controlling stake in one of Siberia's biggest producers. BP Amoco could get in the way, though,, May 30, 2001: "TNK President Simon Kukes, ... sees Western knowhow as crucial to the company's future. Houston-based Halliburton is advising on drilling strategy at TNK's big Samotlor field in Western Siberia, now producing some 400,000 barrels per day -- about half of the company's total production. ... TNK is also working with Texaco to produce lubricants at TNK's Ryazan refinery, as well as developing Texaco Star Mart convenience stories around Mosow. Indeed, TNK's long-term goal is to sell a large piece of the company, possibly all of it, to a major Western oil company. 'We need to give control to the West,' Kukes declared in a May 28 interview with BusinessWeek. And for a company that wants it all, TNK is certainly acting that way."
  • Kukes Appointed to a Princeton University Post, BusinessWatch', July 31, 2001: Princeton named Kukes "to the prestigious post of senior visiting fellow. Kukes will serve in Princeton's Council on Regional Studies from 1 September until 1 July 2002. The Council includes area studies programs such as those focusing on Russia. ... Kukes will lead seminars and conferences at Princeton University and other locations as arranged by the university."
  • Sabrina Tavernise, Russia and U.S. to Discuss Collaborative Oil Ventures, Moscow Times, September 28, 2002: "'The whole idea is to see whether Russia can become a marketer and a supplier of crude oil to the U.S.,' said Simon Kukes, president of Tyumen Oil, Russia's fourth-largest producer. 'It could reduce reliance of the U.S. on OPEC and lead to more stability in supply.'"
  • Simon Pirani in Energy Day, October 10, 2002: "Simon Kukes, chief executive of TNK, the oil company controlled by the Alfa Bank group (Alfa Group Consortium), told the Houston summit that a tanker full of the company's oil will arrive in the US next week for storage in the US strategic reserve. Kukes has also been a vocal supporter of proposals to establish a separate Russian or US-Russian strategic reserve."
  • Simon Kukes, Prospects for US-Russian Energy Cooperation (PowerPoint), US-Russian Energy Summit, Houston, October 1-2, 2002.
  • Oil majors 'miss boat' by failing to tap into Russia's reserves. Western firms now have to pay a premium for supplies from the world's top producer, says Malcolm Moore,, January 20, 2003.
  • US chief executive takes over at embattled Russian oil giant Yukos, AFP, November 4, 2003.
  • Terry Macalister, CIA bribery claim hits BP's Russian merger, Guardian/UK, December 10, 2003: "BP faces fresh embarrassment over its new Russian merger partner, TNK, following the release of CIA documents alleging bribery by former TNK president Simon Kukes."