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Russian Officials Say Yukos Is Free To Sell Oil

Yukos headquarters (file photo) 29 July 2004 -- The Russian Justice Ministry confirmed today that Russian energy giant Yukos can continue its production and sale of oil.

Reports yesterday said that court bailiffs had ordered the company to suspend all sales of its assets, including oil, helping to send the price of crude oil to a 21-year high.

The ministry today said Yukos's three main production units may continue with production and sales but that their assets remain frozen pending payment of a tax bill of $3.4 billion for the year 2000.

Yukos produces roughly 1.7 million barrels of oil a day.

Shares in the company surged close to 20 percent on today's announcement after hitting a record low yesterday.