updated 12/22/2004 5:33:40 PM ET 2004-12-22T22:33:40

Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft has bought the mysterious buyer of Yukos’ most important production unit, Russian news agencies reported late Wednesday.

ITAR-Tass and Interfax reported that Rosneft had bought 100 percent of shares in little-known company, BaikalFinansGroup.

The move gives Rosneft more than three-quarters of the shares in Yukos’ Yuganskneftegaz production unit, which Baikalfinancegroup bought at a government auction on Sunday, reports said.

“Rosneft bought 100 percent of shares previously owned by Baikalfinancegroup,” an unnamed Rosneft official was quoted as saying by the Interfax agency.

The reports could not be immediately confirmed.

In the past several months, the Russian government has announced it would fold Rosneft into the oil assets of the natural gas giant, Gazprom, and form a new company.

That company, called Gazpromneft, had been widely expected to purchase the Yuganskneftegaz production unit at Sunday’s auction, but was stopped just days earlier by a U.S. bankruptcy court order.

Yuganskneftegaz pumps about 11 percent of Russia’s oil.

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