Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Russia Seeks $11 Billion in Oil Export Taxes to Fill Budget Gap

By Maria Kolesnikova

(Bloomberg) -- Russia’s budget may gain 353.2 billion rubles ($11.3 billion) by the end of 2012 by imposing an export tax on oil from now-exempt eastern Siberian fields, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said.

“Given the need to balance the federal budget in the mid- term, and that a number of oil fields will break even in this period, we propose a new type of tax on east Siberian exports,” Sechin, who oversees the energy industry and is chairman of Russia’s largest oil producer, OAO Rosneft, said today at a government meeting in Moscow.

The government is considering proposals to impose the oil export duty at a discounted rate from July 1, while seeking to narrow a budget gap to 5.4 percent of gross domestic product this year. Oil producers, including Rosneft, say the development of new deposits depends on tax breaks.

The Finance Ministry, the Energy Ministry and the Federal Customs Service have agreed on applying a discounted rate starting when prices crude are $50 a barrel, a higher cutoff level than for traditional fields, Sechin said.

The discounted tax rate in July may be $69.90 a ton ($9.54 a barrel) for the fields, among them Rosneft’s Vankor field, according to the Finance Ministry. That compares with a standard rate of $248.80 a ton for other fields, based on an oil price of $71.28 a barrel.

Companies may have to pay the full export duty once the internal rate of return for a project reaches 15 percent, Sechin said. The tax breaks are designed to encourage the development of new deposits, he said.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for more discussion of the plan. The government didn’t reach a decision today, Natural Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev said after the meeting.

--Editors: Torrey Clark, Jonas Bergman

To contact the reporter on this story: Maria Kolesnikova in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Torrey Clark at

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