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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Trutnev dampens tax break hopes

17 July 2007 - Upstream OnLine - Russia played down hopes that it would offer tax breaks to develop offshore fields, and said Russian state players may want to team up with Western partners to tap new blocks. Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev said he saw no reason to cut mineral extraction tax or export duties for companies preparing to extract large offshore reserves. "I believe the Russian state should remain in control of its offshore deposits. Then it will be up to Russian companies whether or not to invite foreign partners," Reuters quoted him as telling foreign investors at a meeting. "For now, I see no reason whatsoever to reduce taxation in the resources sector." His comment followed a ministry announcement yesterday that it may revive an old idea to award tax breaks on offshore fields, following a landmark deal to bring in France's Total to develop Gazprom's Shtokman gas field. Russia said last year it would limit tax breaks to the frontier oil region of East Siberia, which is dominated by state-controlled energy companies Gazprom and Rosneft .

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