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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rosneft Fails to Freeze Yukos Assets Through Dutch Court

AMSTERDAM -- A Dutch court on Thursday threw out a request by Rosneft for a freezing order on international assets controlled by Dutch subsidiaries of oil group Yukos.

"The basic assumption is that Yukos International ... is free to sell shares in its foreign subsidiaries, as long as it does not prejudice attempts by creditors for recourse," the Amsterdam court said in its sentence.

The request was part of efforts by Yuganskneftegaz, the production unit of state-owned oil group Rosneft, to collect about 1.8 billion euros ($2.12 billion) from Yukos granted it in May by a Moscow court.

Yukos lawyers had said Yuganskneftegaz, which they see as representing the Kremlin, initiated the proceeding to keep Yukos assets out of the hands of firms not connected to the state.

Yuganskneftegaz in October asked the Dutch court to freeze Yukos's shares in Dutch holding companies controlling Yukos' foreign assets including Lithuanian refiner Mazeikiu and Slovakian pipeline operator Transpetrol.

Yukos wants to sell its 53.7 percent stake in Mazeikiu, the Baltic region's only refinery, which is also at the center of a scramble by international energy firms to snap it up and estimated to be worth $1 billion by a Yukos source.

The Lithuanian state has a 40.6 percent stake in Mazeikiu and has a final say on the buyer, but declined to comment.

Analysts said that while four parties had placed bids, the race to the finishing line was down to two frontrunners, BP's Russian unit, TNK-BP, and a joint bid by LUKoil and U.S. group ConocoPhillips.

Polish refining group PKN Orlen and Kazakh state gas company KazMunaiGaz have also been identified as bidders by Baltic news agency BNS.

Other cases involving Yukos and its assets are taking place in London, Washington and New York.