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Yukos freeze sends oil prices surging

Daily Mail: Yukos freeze sends oil prices surging

“The pace of disposals at Shell is accelerating. In what would be a radical move, it may put Intergen, its global power venture with 20 plants, on sale.”: “Shell… is unloading petrol stations and refineries to focus on finding oil and gas.”

Brian O’Connor

Sep 03, 2004

Crude oil prices soared again as the price war moved to the Russian front.

Moscow’s public prosecutor won the right to freeze UKpound 1.5 billion funds of oil giant Yukos. The company warned: “The arrest paralyses our productive capacity.”

A pipeline bombing in Iraq renewed supply worries. US crude went up more than $1 to over $45 a barrel in New York. North Sea crude rose to $42.50.

Yukos produces 1.7m barrels daily and exports 1m. But with its bank accounts frozen the taps may be turned off. President Putin apparently assured George W Bush last month that Russia’s oil would keep flowing.

But his strategy seems to be to force all or part of Yukos into state — or at least state-friendly control — blocking all of its attempts to raise money to meet its huge tax bills.

The pace of disposals at Shell is accelerating. In what would be a radical move, it may put Intergen, its global power venture with 20 plants, on sale. Shell owns 68 percent of Intergen, engineer Bechtel owns 32 percent.

Shell (up 5 1/4p to 415 1/4p) is unloading petrol stations and refineries to focus on finding oil and gas.

Cairn Energy joined the sales rush, raising $135m (UKpound 75m) by selling part of two exploration blocks off India’s east coast, and other assets, to Indian state company ONGC. Cairn rose 15p to 1497p.

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