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    Sibneft to change name to Gazpromneft in May - Gazprom CEO

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    Sibneft is one of the twenty largest oil companies in the world, with proved reserves of over 4.5 billion barrels. "The Sibneft board of directors has made a decision to rename the company," Alexei Miller told reporters, adding that the Sibneft brand would be retained for some time at gas stations.

    ST. PETERSBURG, March 31 (RIA Novosti) - Oil company Sibneft will change its name to Gazpromneft in May and move to St. Petersburg next year, the head of Gazprom said Friday.

    "The Sibneft board of directors has made a decision to rename the company," Alexei Miller told reporters, adding that the Sibneft brand would be retained for some time at gas stations.

    St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko hailed the relocation decision, saying it was of historical significance for the city.

    "We are planning to build a stadium [for local soccer team Zenit, which Gazprom sponsors] and tunnel [under the River Neva] using the money [the company will pay in taxes]," she said.

    Miller also said that Sibneft would officially reregister in St. Petersburg this May at the same time as changing its name, and would move to Russia's second city in late 2006-early 2007. He said the company's offices would be based in the center of the city.

    Sibneft is one of the twenty largest oil companies in the world, with proved reserves of over 4.5 billion barrels, and is majority owned by energy giant Gazprom after the latter bought a 72.7% stake in 2005 for $13.1 billion.

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