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Russia's Rosneft energy company and the U.S. company Exxon Mobil have signed a deal for joint exploration of oil and natural gas resources in the Black Sea.

The deal was signed today on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The two firms said they would form a joint operating company to explore an 11,200-square-kilometer deep-water offshore area in Russia's sector of the Black Sea.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, who is also Rosneft chairman, said it underlined Russia's openness to foreign investment in its oil and gas sector.

The two firms already work together in oil fields off Sakhalin in Russia's Pacific far east, but this is their first deal in the Black Sea.

compiled from agency reports
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