Here's a little more evidence that the Russian government is most likely behind Baikal.
Yuganskneftegaz may be assigned to government
The Justice Ministry of Russia does not rule out the possibility that in the event the auction for Yuganskneftegaz is declared void, the shares
in that company will be assigned to the government, Alexander Buksman, chief of the Justice Ministry’s Moscow Department, declared at a news
conference today. “An asset that has not been sold can be assigned to the claimant, i.e. the government,” he said.
YUKOS has been seeking U.S. bankruptcy protection.
The bankruptcy hearing is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. in Houston. But on 12/16/04 the Oil & Gas International (an online E&P news source) had the
following article (which takes a paid subscription to access)...headline read:
"(12/16/2004) Gazprom files for dismissal of Yukos bankruptcy case (update)"
On 12/15 O&G International had this headline (see in list of articles in link above)
"(12/15/2004) Yukos files for bankruptcy & restraining order against Kremlin"
This was apparently in response to the following:
"(12/9/2004) Gazprom gets loan to bid for Yukos production unit (analysis)"
Gazprom announced its intentions to bid for YUKOS on November 30:
"(11/30/2004) Gazprom to bid for Yuganskneftegaz"
Please note that Gazprom (government-owned gas company) and Rosneft (government-owned oil company) www.rosneft.ru...
"(11/11/2004) Gazprom-Rosneft merger appraisal ordered"
On December 7, Russian President Vladimir Putin removed Rosneft from the list of Russia’s strategic assets, replacing it with the new, unified
Rosneftegaz. He backed government proposals to transfer 100 percent of Rosneft shares, controlled by the government, to the authorized capital of
Rosneftegaz as the government’s contribution to the new company. Gazprom shares involved in the deal will be transferred to the balance sheet of the
company Gazpromneft. After that, Rosneftegaz and Gazpromneft will swap their assets and Gazprom’s treasury shares will become state property.
Now, the Russian government announced in May that it was going to "increase its shares in the gas giant Gazprom"...
But stated that the plan to "liberate Gazprom shares would still take place" this year. Up until now there has been a Russian-government
restriction to the amount of Gazprom shares that can be owned by anyone other that the government - 20% max. The promised "share liberation" would
increase the foreign investment percent. However, the Russian government has been stalling ever since May.
And still hasn't announced the increase in percent of non-government owned shares.
Meanwhile, Rosneft has announced it wants a quarter of the 1.5 billion dollar contract that Conoco-Phillips just bought into when it purchased a good
percent of Lukoil. (I have a post somewhere on the board that details this transaction and how it potentially places CoP in an advantageous position
to profit off Iraqi oilfield development via an old contract won/then cancelled by Lukoil.)
By the way, just to make sure we don't leave any aspect of the dirty-business surrounding the Russian oil industry out - Rosneft was on Saddam's