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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rosneft Submits Bid for Yukos' East Siberian Assets, Sources Say

State-controlled Rosneft has submitted a bid to buy the east Siberian assets of bankrupt oil firm Yukos at a state-forced auction next week, a Rosneft source said Wednesday.

The starting price for the lot, which comprises Yukos' Tomskneft oil production unit and two refineries in Angarsk and Achinsk, is set at 166.3 billion rubles ($6.45 billion).

The source said Rosneft vehicle Neft-Activ would bid on behalf of the firm.

Yukos has denounced the state-forced auctions, which are being held to recover its back tax debt, as a Kremlin plot to destroy what was once the country's largest oil firm and punish its founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky for political activities.

Rosneft has so far benefited the most from the demise of Yukos, as it already controls its former top oil production unit Yugansk. It has also bought a chunk if its own shares, which were controlled by Yukos, at an auction this year at a discount.

Gazprom has also grabbed a chunk of Yukos' former property when it bought gas assets in tandem with Italy's Eni and Enel.

Yukos will virtually cease to exist in May after the sale of its east Siberian assets and another auction, at which the state will sell the firm's Samara oil production unit and its three refineries in the same region.

Analysts have said Rosneft will most likely win the Samara lot, but competition could be high for east Siberian assets, as they could be of interest to Gazprom, which has large gas operations in Tomsk.

A Gazprom source said Wednesday that the firm had no plans so far to bid for east Siberian assets. A source at the country's No.3 oil firm, TNK-BP, said the company also had no plans to bid.