|Born||1946 (age 72–73)|
|Occupation||oil business manager, consultant|
Simon Grigorievich Kukes (Russian: Семен Григорьевич Кукес; born 5 December 1946) is a Russian-born American chemist and retired oil industry businessman. He immigrated to the US to work in the oil industry in the late seventies, and returned to Russia with AMOCO in 1995. He became vice president at YUKOS, president of TNK-BP from 1998 until 2003, and returned to head Yukos, replacing Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Officially retired he is still consulting oil businesses. He has contributed to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Elizabeth Cheney's 2016 run for a congressional seat.
Early life and education
Simon Kukes was born in Moscow to Jewish parents. He studied at Mendeleev Moscow Chemical & Technological Institute and at Nesmeyanov Institute of Hetero-Organic Compounds for his postgraduate studies.
Kukes immigrated to the US in the late seventies, and became an American citizen, giving up his Russian passport. He briefly taught at Rice University, in Houston, Texas. From 1979 to 1986, he worked for Phillips Petroleum, thereafter for Amoco. In 1995, he became vice president of its Moscow Office. From 1996 to 1998, he was vice president at YUKOS. From February 1998 until June 2003 he was president of TNK-BP or Tyumen Oil Company, and brokered a joint venture with BP=that year.
In June 2004 he became co-owner of the Russian oil company ZAO Samara-Nafta, a subsidiary of Lukoil. As of 2005, Kukes owned 8 percent in Amarin Corporation, then a neurology drug developer. He also was a partner at Hess Corporation, a New York-based oil and gas company.
In 2003 Kukes had said in an interview with the Guardian: "I am not a political animal. I spent one year in Siberia [sorting out operational oil issues for TNK] in 2001. That is not what someone interested in politics does."
- Ron Kampeas (May 22, 2018). "Know your oligarch: A guide to the Jewish machers in the Russia probe". JTA. Retrieved 2018-09-01.
- "Simon Kukes Prefers Drugs to Oil". Kommersant. 25 January 2005. Archived from the original on 30 September 2016. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
- Ashley Balcerzak (26 September 2016). "Russian-born oil magnate gives big to Trump Victory". OpenSecrets.org. The Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
- "A Conversation with Simon Kukes ( Transcript)". Council on Foreign Relations. 9 February 2004. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
- "About NAFTA Consulting". website. NAFTA LLC. n.d. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
- Avi Mizrahi (2 July 2016). "Oil Magnate Simon Kukes Explains Why He Became a Major Leverate Investor". Finance Magnates Ltd. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
- Terry Macalister (13 November 2003). "Oligarch? I wish". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
- Deborah Schoeneman (27 March 2000). "Steve Wynn Bets on 820 Fifth Avenue and Loses Big; Upper East Side". The Observer. Retrieved 1 October 2016.