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Rosneft Grabs Yukos Assets, Gazprom Selects Total S.A.


http://gdb.rferl.org/DF965F33-A22F-4748-B268-17E3A6B4A8F5_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/DF965F33-A22F-4748-B268-17E3A6B4A8F5_mw800_mh600.jpg Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller (file photo) (epa) July 12, 2007 – Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft came away today with one of the last remaining assets of Yukos, while Gazprom said it had chosen France’s Total S.A. to help develop an arctic gas field in a deal worth up to $30 billion.


Rosneft paid almost $230 million for the Yukos assets after a two-minute auction in Moscow. It was one of the last in a series of sales aimed at paying off more than $26 billion in Yukos debts.


Yukos recently declared bankruptcy. Its former CEO, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, is serving an eight-year jail term for fraud and tax evasion. Human rights organizations have said the case against him and Yukos was politically motivated.


Meanwhile, state-owned gas giant Gazprom said today that it had chosen Total to help develop its Shtokman gas field.


Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller said in a statement that Total will receive 25 percent of a company set up to develop the project's first phase. Gazprom will retain 51 percent of the management company and 100 percent of the company that controls the license for the project.


Total won out over two other groups -- Statoil and Norsk Hydro of Norway, and ConocoPhilips of the Unites States -- to secure its participation in the project. Its total cost is estimated at between $20 billion and $30 billion.


The Shtokman field is one of the world's biggest gas reserves. It lies in the Russian part of the Barents Sea above the Arctic Circle.


(AFP, Interfax, "Financial Times")

The Post-Soviet Petrostate

The oil-export terminal at Primorsk, Russia (TASS)

WEALTH AND POWER. At an RFE/RL briefing in Washington on January 24, Freedom House Director of Studies Christopher Walker and RFE/RL regional analyst Daniel Kimmage argued that energy-sector wealth is preventing many former Soviet countries -- Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan -- from developing strong democratic institutions.


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