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22 noviembre 2006

Inspeccionan en Rusia a las petroleras

Russia's Natural Resources Ministry said on Monday it had asked the Federal Tax Service to provide information on 398 licences held by Russia's top oil firm LUKOIL, following a threat to withdraw 20 licences last week.

And the state ecological agency RosPrirodNadzor, part of the ministry, said it would soon examine gas monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM) and complete checks of the state oil firm Rosneft's (ROSN.MM) production facilities on the island of Sakhalin.

LUKOIL, which owns 406 licences to develop oilfields in Russia and is almost 20 percent owned by U.S. major ConocoPhillips (COP), said that it hoped the issue would be solved and analysts agreed.

"The state had specific claims on YUKOS, including some to its owners. LUKOIL is unlikely to be a subject of similar claims, because, first of all, it is quite loyal to the authorities and, secondly, it is a reliable tax-payer," said Dmitry Mangilyov of Prospect brokerage.