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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

FT: Chevron, Shell and Total All Chasing a Stake in Sibneft

Sibneft said Friday it was premature to think its main owner could be in active sale talks with a Western major while the company is still trying to unwind its merger with estranged partner Yukos.

"At the moment we are focusing on the demerger with Yukos and it's too early to comment on what might happen in the future," a Sibneft spokesman said.

The spokesman was speaking after the Financial Times said in a report Friday that Roman Abramovich was in talks to sell half of the 92 percent of Sibneft that he is believed to control to a foreign energy group once the stake is taken back from Yukos.

The report said that Anglo-Duch giant Royal Dutch/Shell, U.S. ChevronTexaco and Total of France had all had discussions about a possible deal to give them a stake in Sibneft of close to 46 percent.

Analysts said it was common knowledge that Abramovich and his partners have been looking to sell and the interest of international majors in Sibneft had increased after the firm decided to pull out of its merger with Yukos.

Meanwhile, Yukos said Friday it would appeal a decision by a Moscow court to annul the $9 billion share issue it had used to acquire Sibneft.

However, the case has been delayed by a fire in a court building that left the documents soaked by water.

(Reuters, AP)