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Sechin Ally Will Head Own Firm

Eduard Khudainatov, right-hand man of Rosneft president and Kremlin insider Igor Sechin, is planning to leave his post as vice president of Rosneft, Vedomosti reported Tuesday.

He will leave to head up his own private company, which will look to acquire minor oil holdings, the newspaper said, citing unidentified sources.

A senior government official told Vedomosti that Khudainatov was interested in a variety of assets, “primarily in East Siberia, close to the ESPO pipeline.”

His first acquisition is likely to be NK Dulisma, sold by Sberbank for $89 million late last year. The Dulisma oil field contains 14 million tons of oil.

The new company is to be formed on the basis of an unidentified public company founded late last year. Its source of financing is as yet unknown.

Khudainatov’s reported departure comes after a brief stint as president of NGK Itera earlier this year. Itera, owned by Rosneft, was consolidated into Rosneft at the end of May, at which point Khudainatov stepped down as president.

Sechin invited Khudainatov to join Rosneft as vice president in 2008. He became president in 2010 and then returned to his previous position as vice president last year when Sechin took over as head of the company.

He has considered leaving several times but stayed on at Sechin’s insistence, Vedomosti said, adding that Khudainatov would remain “part of  Sechin’s team.”

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