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OMV's 5 yr Danube plan

Austrian oil and gas conglomerate OMV AG released a five-year strategy yesterday with its growth plans focusing on the "Danube region" - Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and the former Yugoslav states. With few and mostly insignificant acquisition targets left in the region, rivalry between OMV and Hungary's MOL Rt is likely to intensify especially in respect of downstream activities, daily Magyar Hírlap observed. In terms of privatization deals, Bosnia is the only remaining 'unclaimed land' in the region, while "Serbia and Montenegro appear to be Lukoil territories", according to the newspaper. OMV intends to increase production from this year's 340,000-barrel estimated daily average to 500,000 barrels, while doubling its current daily 500,000-barrel refinery output by 2010. (MH 10) P.P.