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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2007, 10:39 GMT
Yukos auction date set for March
Yukos plant in Siberia
Everything must go in the Yukos bankruptcy auction
Five Russian oil refineries and 400,000 barrels of daily oil production will be among the assets of Yukos going under the hammer from March.

The receiver says the first auction of Yukos assets will be held next month, with its shares in Rosneft and Gazprom Neft expected to be the first to go.

The receiver, Eduard Rebgun, values the assets at around $22bn, but Yukos owes the government $26bn in back taxes.

Yukos says the assets are worth more - at least enough to pay off the debts.

The company says that the tax claims against it are the Kremlin's revenge for the political activities of its former head Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is serving an eight-year jail term in Siberia for fraud and tax evasion.

Yukos' top assets include a 20% stake in Gazprom's oil arm Gazprom Neft, 9.4% of Rosneft and two oil production units: Tomskneft and Samaraneftegaz.

Fall from grace

Yukos was once Russia's second biggest oil company, pumping one in every five barrels the country produced.

In 2004, the back tax bill led to Yukos' main Yuganskneftegaz subsidiary being expropriated by the government and sold off at auction.

It was ultimately acquired by the state-owned oil company, Rosneft.

Rosneft and Gazprom are expected to be the biggest beneficiaries in the next round of auctions.


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