Putin to Sign Order Imposing Tax on East Siberian Oil Exports `in Days'

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will sign an order imposing a discounted export duty on oil pumped at now-exempt eastern Siberian fields “in days,” his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The government approved the discounted rate of 45 percent at a meeting yesterday for east Siberian oil starting when crude prices are above $50 a barrel, a higher benchmark than for standard fields, Peskov said by telephone today. Oil producers will pay the full export duty when the internal rate of return for a project reaches 15 percent, he said.

“We plan to have this all come into effect from July 1,” Peskov said.

Russia’s budget may gain 353.2 billion rubles ($11.3 billion) through the end of 2012 by imposing the export tax on eastern Siberian fields from next month, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said yesterday.

The government is seeking to narrow a budget gap to 5.4 percent of gross domestic product this year. Oil producers, including state-run OAO Rosneft, where Sechin is chairman, say the development of new deposits depends on tax breaks.

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