Friday, February 13, 2009
Surgutneftegas, Rosneft to benefit from gov't tax moves
RBC, 13.02.2009, Moscow 16:34:16.Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin discussed a number of key issues during a meeting with oil companies' representatives on Thursday. At the meeting, the government expressed readiness to support the oil sector and suggested a temporary abolition of export duties for oil produced in Eastern Siberia's oil fields. Furthermore, Putin commissioned the government to develop new tax benefits for the region's oil fields. According to experts' estimates, oil companies operating in Eastern Siberia paid some $200m worth of export duties and mining taxes to the federal budget in 2008. This year, these oil producers will be able to save some $80m-$110m if the export duty is abolished, experts say. It is still unclear, however, if the mining tax may also be lifted. If it happens, oil companies will be able to save an additional $32m-$35m and increase their profitability by 2 to 3 percentage points starting in 2010. Analysts believe that Surgutneftegas and Rosneft, Eastern Siberia's largest oil producers, will benefit the most from this decision. On the whole, the news is also expected to be positive for each company's shares in the long term.