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Russia's Gazprom to Bid for Yukos Oil Unit

IN BRIEF / ENERGY

December 01, 2004|From Associated Press

The petroleum division of Russia's natural gas giant Gazprom said it would bid for the crown jewels of the Yukos oil empire, a widely anticipated move that could put the heart of the company created by jailed billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky into Kremlin-friendly hands.

If state-controlled Gazprom wins the unit, Yuganskneftegaz, in a Dec. 19 auction, the world's biggest producer of natural gas would be propelled into the ranks of international oil giants. The unit, which produces 1 million barrels a day, is being sold against $24.5 billion in back tax bills of its parent firm and carries a starting price of $8.6 billion.

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