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Gazprom, MOL may bid for Udmurtneft

Russian gas firm Gazprom and Hungary's MOL Rt may bid together for Udmurtneft, an oil producer being sold by TNK-BP, Interfax quoted a Gazprom official as saying yesterday. Interfax quoted Gazprom's deputy CEO Alexander Ryazanov, who heads Gazprom's oil business Gazprom Neft, as saying the two firms might form a consortium to buy Udmurtneft jointly. Following a meeting of MOL CEO Zsolt Hernádi and Gazprom head Alexei Miller earlier in June, Gazprom announced in a statement that it would support MOL's efforts to expand its presence on Russia's oil producer market. MOL is bidding for a 96.9% stake in Russian peer Udmurtneft, owned by the Russian and British company TNK-BP Holding. Gazprom is also bidding for the stake through its unit Gazprom Neft, formerly called Sibillioneft. Other bidders include Russia's Rosneft, China's Sinopec and a consortium of Russia's Itera and India's ONGC. (NG 11, MH 11, Nb 15)