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Yukos's Eastern Siberia oil assets to be auctioned off May 3

The federal property fund said Wednesday it will hold another auction May 3 to sell the bankrupt Yukos company's oil assets in Eastern Siberia and the Krasnodar Territory in Russia's south.

Yukos, once Russia's largest oil company, was declared bankrupt August 1, 2006, after three years of litigation with tax authorities over the company's tax arrears. Yukos, whose founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky is serving an eight-year prison term in Siberia after being convicted of fraud in May 2005, faces a total of more than 700 billion rubles ($26.9 billion) in claims from creditors. The initial price of the lot that includes Yukos' largest oil producing and refining companies in Russia's east is 166.34 billion rubles ($6.46 billion), with the deposit sum of 33.27 billion rubles ($1.29 billion) and a bid increment of 260 million rubles ($10 million), the fund said.

Russia's state-controlled crude producer Rosneft, which purchased Yuganskneftegaz, Yukos core production unit, in late 2004, is interested in buying the bankrupt oil company's refining assets. Rosneft supplies most of its crude to Yukos refineries as it experiences a shortage of its own refining capacities. The lot that includes Yukos' assets in the Krasnodar Territory has an initial price of 3.17 billion rubles ($123 million), with a bid increment of 37.12 million rubles ($1.4 million) and the required deposit sum of 742.44 million rubles ($28.8 million). (