MINISTRY TO STRIP YUKOS BRANCH OF LICENSE?

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MOSCOW, October 4 (RIA Novosti) - The federal Ministry of Natural Resources is pondering prospects to revoke the Yuganskneftegas license, biggest production affiliate of the victimised Yukos petroleum mammoth, minister Yuri Trutnev said to Novosti on the phone from Siberia's Surgut.

"We may regard the matter this week," he added.

The Yugansk is suspected of trespassing its license terms, and the ministry addressed the Federal Taxation Service for papers to supplement its file. All papers have come in now.

"Whatever turn the matter may take, the ministry will not determine at its upcoming session to strip the company of its license. If we come on trespasses, the Yugansk will be granted three months to cure the matter. The license issue will come up only if it does not, and an inspecting commission finds the trespasses bad," said Mr. Trutnev.

The Yugansk-related session was previously scheduled for last week, and put off for the missing papers. They concern the corporate fiscal arrears payment schedule, the amount of extracted oil, and Yugansk sale prices.

The ministry is checking the Yuganskneftegas on fiscal agencies' application.

The Federal Taxation Service called the Natural Resource Ministry to revoke the Yugansk oil-drilling license as its arrears on the mineral extraction tax make 3.6 billion roubles, roughly US$120 million. Company managers say the Yugansk cannot afford the sum with its bank accounts arrested on the Yukos controversy.

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