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Reuters: Shell to bid for YUKOS filling stations – paper

Tue May 8, 2007 6:48 AM BST
MOSCOW, May 8 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell plans to bid when Russia’s official receiver auctions off the filling station network of bankrupt oil firm YUKOS, the Vedomosti daily said on Tuesday, quoting sources.

Shell declined to confirm the report.

“Russia is a strategic region for Shell’s growth both in the upstream and in the downstream. We are continuously assessing opportunities for growth, including in the retail sector,” said Maxim Shoob, Shell’s spokesman in Moscow.

Shell has two major Russian projects, both in the production or “upstream” sector, and it has been seeking a third to add to its portfolio for several years. Previously it said investing in retail stations might form such a third project.

Russia has already sold off the bulk of YUKOS’s assets to pay back its $26 billion debts. The lot including more than 500 petrol stations will go under the hammer on May 10 with a starting price of 7.7 billion roubles ($299.3 million).

Vedomosti said Shell would face serious competition for the retail assets, since a total of seven firms had put down a deposit to bid in the auction, including Rosneft and TNK-BP, a joint venture of Britain’s BP Plc.

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