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    Sibneft 2006 net profit forecast at $2.3bln

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    MOSCOW, February 9 (RIA Novosti) - The net profit of Russian oil major Sibneft is expected to reach $2.3 billion, the company's president said Thursday.

    Alexander Ryazanov, who is also a deputy chairman of energy giant Gazprom, said the figure was lower than the previously estimated $3 billion due to lower world oil prices. He explained that the benchmark oil price in Sibneft's [RTS: SIBN] business plan for 2006 was $45 per barrel, which was lower than in 2005.

    Gazprom bought a 72.7% share in Sibneft, which was previously controlled by tycoon and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, for $13.1 billion in September 2005.

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