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Russneft teams up with Mol in Russia venture

Mol Rt, Hungary?s dominant oil and gas group, announced yesterday that Russia?s OAO RussNeft acquired a 50% stake in its local joint venture Zapadno Malibalik (ZMB) business daily Napi Gazdaság reported. Russneft, a fast growing mid-sized oil company owned by former Slavneft head Mikhail Gutseriyev, has annual crude oil output in excess of 14 million tons. The deal was formally approved Russia?s antimonopoly watchdog. The statement comes four months after Mol indicated RussNeft was likely to replace as its partner the four off-shore companies that had bought half of ZMB after Mol?s earlier partner, Jukos was forced to leave the venture.