RUSSIA'S OIL SECTOR STILL ATTRACTIVE FOR WORLD COMPANIES

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MOSCOW, October 13 (RIA Novosti) - Notwithstanding the Yukos situation, the world's leading oil companies are still sure of the attraction of the Russian oil sector, Igor Yurgens, vice-president of the Russian Industrialists' and Entrepreneurs' Union (RSPP), has said on Wednesday.

For doing work here in the present conditions, one has to run a sure business and have firm agreements with the government marking off each other's interests.

"Such work is complicated but, as before, extremely profitable. Alongside the domestic producers, ConocoPhillips, Total, Shell are a demonstration of such attractiveness," Yurgens said.

As regards dangers facing other companies operating in the raw-materials sector, he noted that members of the RSPP bureau are not having such fears.

"Meanwhile, those working in the sector of strategic raw materials should bear in mind that oil, gas and other energy carriers are not just commodities but also an element of the state strategy. This is why doing work in such sectors will become even harder for private businessmen," Yurgens warned.

As to the possible sale of Yuganskneftegaz, the basic production asset of Yukos, Yurgens said he trusts the declarations by the management of Gazprom, Surgutneftegaz, TNK-BP and other large operators that Yuganskneftegaz is of no interest to them and buying it would entail many lawsuits.

"Only a few are willing to buy the assets," Yurgens said.

He is also perplexed by the recent evaluation of Yuganskneftegaz.

The Russian Justice Ministry said on Tuesday, with reference to the assessor Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, that the cost of Yuganskneftegaz may be 10.4 billion dollars.

This sum is the lowest evaluation, RIA Novosti quotes a ministerial source as saying.

"It looks like an attempt to understate the cost in order to sell the asset at a low price," Yurgens said.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday the State Duma rejected the proposal of independentdeputy Vladimir Ryzhkov to interpellate the Justice Ministry and the Federal Property Fund for getting a copy of the official assessor's report.

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