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    NATURAL RESOURCE MINISTER SPENT LAST HOURS IN OFFICE TO MAKE LUKOIL LICENCES. MINISTRY NOT TO RECALL THEM

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    MOSCOW, APRIL 2, RIA NOVOSTI - Vitali Artyukhov, previous federal Minister of Natural Resources, gave the LUKoil petroleum mammoth a licence package within his last several hours in office. The ministry will certainly not recall them, as it found the licences perfectly aboveboard, Yuri Trutnev, new minister, reassured the media.

    The package, of 18 licences, concerns West Siberian oilfield development, Dmitri Dolgov, LUKoil press secretary, said to newsmen on a previous occasion. It implies small fields in the Urai district. In fact, the licences were drawn close on a year ago, and lacked only the minister's signature.

    On his last day in office, Mr. Artyukhov ordered signing a petroleum prospecting licence contract, which involved LUKoil affiliates and several other companies.

    Yuri Trutnev has launched home inquiry into his predecessor's last instant moves.

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