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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mitvol Sets His Sights on LUKoil

The government's environmental inspectorate may appeal a decision exonerating a subsidiary of LUKoil, the country's No. 1 oil producer, for violating a license agreement, Interfax reported Friday.

Oleg Mitvol, the deputy head of the environmental inspectorate, said Friday that LUKoil, rather than its subcontractor, should be held responsible for ecological violations at the Bayadynsky field in the northern republic of Komi.

The government's subsoil agency decided Friday that Lukoil should not lose its license for illegal drilling because the company's subcontractor was at fault, Interfax reported.

Mitvol said in October that he would investigate violations by the country's largest oil producers, including state companies Rosneft and Gazprom. Mitvol has led the push to investigate Shell's Sakhalin-2 project, the largest foreign investment in the country.

Also on Friday, LUKoil said it was not in talks with minority shareholders of smaller rival Ritek about repurchasing their shares or on exchanging their shares for LUKoil shares.

"LUKoil is not holding any negotiations, has not entered and does not intend to enter into any agreements with the minority shareholders of Ritek," it said in a statement.

Ritek's board in October proposed issuing new shares worth 45 percent of its stock to merge with Nazymgeodobycha, which is fully owned by LUKoil.