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Lukoil: Russia's sleeping giant

Lukoil’s move for Bashneft suggests the company is at last ready to use its cash pile and challenge Rosneft

FIVE years ago, when ConocoPhillips sold its stake in Lukoil for close to $10bn, the US firm complained that its investment in Russia's second-largest oil producer had failed to yield the access to the vast oil and gas reserves it had hoped for. ConocoPhillips's final departure last year seemed sensible too, given the near paralysis imposed on Russia's industry by sanctions and the growing dominance of state-controlled players. Now the US company might wonder. A joint-venture deal Lukoil agreed with Bashneft - just two months after ConocoPhillips offloaded its final shares - has brought new verve to Lukoil. It should increase its reserve base, for starters. It might also bring it out from u

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