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Dutch court rejects Yuganskneftegaz appeal in Yukos case

MOSCOW, February 2 (RIA Novosti) - An Amsterdam court of appeal rejected Thursday the appeal of Yugaskneftegaz, former major production unit of the embattled oil major Yukos, currently owned by state company Rosneft, to prohibit the sale of Yukos' non-core foreign assets.

The court's decision means lifting all restrictions on Yukos to sell its non-core assets and subsidiaries shares outside the Netherlands, including the sale of assets by Yukos Finance BV and Yukos International UK BV, two UK-based Yukos subsidiaries.

On November 24, the Amsterdam District Court refused to uphold a Yuganskneftegaz lawsuit on arresting the Yukos mother company's foreign assets, thus releasing foreign assets of embattled oil giant Yukos that had been temporarily frozen on October 6 by a court.

This decision made it possible to sell off Yukos' foreign assets, including its stake in Holland's Yukos Finance B. V., which owns part of the Mazeikiu Nafta refinery on Lithuanian territory, and which also owns a stake in Slovakia's Transpetrol oil pipeline operator.

Yukos CEO Steven M. Theede said Thursday he was satisfied with the decision as it allows the company to continue selling foreign assets in order to repay its massive tax debts. Company officials said the court decision could help Yukos selling its 53% controlling stake in Mazeikiu Nafta, sought by TNK-BP, Poland's PKN Orlen and KazMunaiGaz of Kazakhstan, and a 49% stake in Slovakia's Transpetrol oil pipeline operator.

On Wednesday, Yukos sold Davy Process Technology, a UK company that provides licenses to operate advanced process technologies related to the manufacture of oil and gas, petrochemicals, commodity chemicals, fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

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