№ 1 (January 2007)
Chevron Confirms Interest in Yukos Assets
American oil company Chevron expressed interest in bidding for Yukos assets in a move seen as a part of their ongoing exploration of opportunities in Russian energy market. "Our company continues to study opportunities of long-term investment in Russian energy sector," Chevron spokeswoman Irina Rybalchenko told OGE.
"We’re analyzing a broad range of possibilities," she said, having no further comment, explaining "Chevron’s corporate policy discourages any comments on deals and mergers that are being negotiated."
Chevron isn’t the only company interested in buying Yukos’ assets with Russian group ESN and Italian companies Eni and Enel which have already filed official applications stating their intentions. According to "Delovye Novosti," the Arctic Gas Company is the primary candidate for purchase.
This is not the first time the American company courts Yukos’ assets. Back in 2003 then Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky was in the process of negotiating a deal with Chevron which was supposed to give Chevron the controlling share in the new company Yukos-Sibneft after a merger of Yukos and Sibneft which never happened canceling any such deals. Sibneft was subsequently sold to Gazprom to change its name to Gazprom-Neft and Yukos was declared bankrupt in August 2006. Rosneft won the tender to buy Yukos’ largest asset Yuganskneftegaz leaving assets producing 470,000 barrels of oil a day up for grabs together with two oil refining factories.
American oil producer Chevron has been active in Russian energy markets establishing joint venture Severnaya Taiga Neftegaz with Gazprom-Neft in November announcing the deal in January without disclosing any information regarding the oilfields to be used by the new joint company. However, according to Chevron, it has nothing to do with the current pursue of Yukos’ assets.
‘There is absolutely no connection between these two facts," Chevron’s spokeswoman Irina Rybalchenko commented to OGE. "These are two completely different things," she added.
Vedomosti newspaper reported in late January that an independent evaluation ordered by bankruptcy receiver Eduard Rebgun estimated the value of Yukos’ assets to be at the level of $33 bil. However, according to Vedomosti, it’s unlikely that they will be sold for that much with the discounts possibly reaching around 30%.