Russia Studies Earnings of Turkey Gas Pipe to Decide Gazprom Tax
Russia is studying the profitability of a pipeline supplying natural-gas to Turkey to decide whether the government can levy export duty on the fuel to raise funds for the budget and lower taxes on state-run OAO Gazprom.
Russia and Turkey had agreed gas shipped through the Blue Stream pipe wouldn’t be liable for duty until the project was profitable, according to Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko.
“The Intergovernmental agreement allows for breaks from export duties for the Blue Stream pipe until the project has broken even,” Shmatko said in Moscow today. “We, with Gazprom, have reached the phase where we are examining the project’s performance. After that we will take the appropriate decision.”
The Finance Ministry, seeking an extra 150 billion rubles ($5.4 billion) in revenue for the budget, has proposed raising extraction tax on Gazprom to 509 rubles per 1,000 cubic meters in 2012, or just 431 rubles if export duty can be wrested from Blue Stream. The ministry had last month proposed a gain to 480 rubles for next year, still double the extraction tax for 2011.
Blue Stream, below the Black Sea, last year shipped just over half its 16 billion cubic-meter capacity, Gazprom says.
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