CNPC not bidding for Yukos unit: reports

China’s China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), which had been believed to be interested in bidding for the soon-to-be auctioned Yuganskneftegaz, will now apparently not do so, according to reports in the Itar-Tass news agency and the Vedomosti business daily.

Various reports had earlier announced a CNPC delegation’s arrival in Moscow and seemed to indicate the Chinese giant intended to take part in the auction for the Yukos asset which is being coveted by Russia’s Gazprom.

Reliable sources have now revealed to Itar-Tass CNPC will not take part in 19 December auction. The visit of the CNPC officials has now been attributed to “other purposes” such as the intention to increase cooperation in energy supplies to China.

Speaking to Vedomosti the head of the Russia-China centre for economic cooperation, Sergei Sanakoyev, revealed, “CNPC prefers closer cooperation with Gazprom in other projects.” Sanakoyev also announced Gazprom had expressed its willingness to deliver petroleum products to China.

The Sanakoyev interview is backed by another report in the business daily, citing a Gazprom insider.

“Our policy is not to share reserves with foreigners. In fact, sharing oil with the Chinese would be even more inappropriate. After all, their stake in Yuganskneftegaz could complicate future price negotiations,” said the insider.