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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yukos Forms Siberia Internet Provider




NEFTEYUGANSK, Western Siberia -- Unperturbed that most locals do not own computers, Russia's second-biggest oil company, Yukos, has set up a $10 million Internet service provider in Western Siberia that it says will help drive down the region's unemployment rate.


The Siberian Internet Co., which is expected to help 2,000 people find jobs within thenext year, has a home page on the World Wide Web (www.intergrad.ru) that looks like a small town with various streets and blocks accommodating different projects and links to various informational web pages, officials said.


"This is a social project aimed at providing jobs for the young people," Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky said Friday at the Siberian Internet's grand opening in Nefteyugansk.


Yukos is targeting young people in the Tomsk, Samara and Tyumen regions, where the company runs its oil-producing subsidiaries, he said.


"In addition to oil and gas pipelines, we are maintaining a new pipe of intellect," said Ilya Ponomaryov, a vice president at Siberian Internet.


The provider is using the Nefteyugansk Corporate Institute as its base and is hooked up to Yukos' computer server at company headquarters in Moscow. Siberian Internet has posted in its office 95 positions in Nefteyugansk, a city with a population of 98,000, and the company plans to list some 300 openings later this year.


Access to Intergrad is currently free, but the company hopes to charge entry fees to some specific services in the future, said regional coordinator Andrei Lizunov.


Like any Internet provider, Siberian Internet offers services from designing and maintaining web sites to providing long distance telephone calls and household accounts.


The company has hired about 30 computer specialists in Moscow to assist in hiring and training local employees and coordinate operations.


But a giant hurdle - pointed out by local residents - is already blocking the road to Siberian Internet's success: Most families in Western Siberia do not have computers to access Intergrad's services.


In addition, a technical glitch means that only computer owners with home telephone numbers starting with 2 or 6 can dial up the provider. Those with telephones starting with 1, 3 and 5 cannot enter the network in Nefteyugansk.


Also, Siberian Internet faces competition - it is not the first provider in town.


The cyber company hopes to alleviate these problems in part by opening an Internet cafe in Nefteyugansk and by working out a deal with the local telephone companies so all potential customers can tap the web regardless of their home telephone numbers.


The company will challenge local rivals by offering better prices, officials said. Siberian Internet plans to charge $20 for a month of unlimited access, a steep discount from the current $2 an hour fees most local providers levy.


While this is Yukos' first Internet subsidiary, the oil giant already can be considered a leader among Russian companies for its innovative use of the Internet. Some 5,000 of the company's 50,000 employees have private e-mail accounts on the firm's 108 servers, Lizunov said.


The network operates on the U.S.-made Banyan Software Vines System, which is also used by the U.S. Navy and Philip Morris.


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some russian oil Internet sites


LUKoil - http://www.lukoil.com/


Yukos - http://www.yukos.ru/


Surgutneftegaz - http://www.surgutneftegas.ru/


Tatneft - http://www.tatneftjsc.ru/


Sidanko - http://www.publications-etc.com/sidanco/


Sibneft - http://www.sibneftoao.com/


Bashneft - http://www.bashnet/bashneft/bashneft.html


Rosneft/


Sakhalinmorneftegaz - http://www.smng.com/


Onako - http://servers.oris.ru/onako/


Norsi Oil - http://www.nnov.city.ru/norsi/title.htm


Gazprom - http://www.gazprom.ru/