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Russia to Lower January Oil Export Tax by 0.2% After Urals Fell

Russia, the world’s biggest energy exporter, will reduce duties on most oil shipments abroad by 0.2 percent from Jan. 1 after Urals crude prices declined.

The standard export duty will decline to $395.60 a metric ton, or about $53.97 a barrel, from $396.50 a ton this month, according to an order signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and published today in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the state newspaper.

Russia’s government is reviewing the export duty structure, with plans to propose changes by the end of the first quarter of 2013 that will help producers meet President Vladimir Putin’s goal of maintaining output at more than 10 million barrels a day. Production climbed to a post-Soviet high of 10.48 million barrels a day in November, according to data from the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit. Oil and gas provide about half of Russia’s budget revenue.

The discounted rate on some eastern Siberian and Caspian Sea grades will fall to $192.70 a ton from $193.30 this month. The levy on extra-heavy crude, set at 10 percent of the standard duty, will be $39.50 in January.

Russia bases the export taxes on the average Urals blend price from the 15th day of one month to the 14th of the next. The benchmark export grade averaged $108.66 a barrel during the most recent period, Alexander Sakovich, a Finance Ministry adviser, said by phone on Dec. 17. In the previous monitoring period, it averaged $108.87, according to the ministry.

The duty for middle distillates, such as diesel, and heavy products, such as fuel oil, will drop to $261.10 a ton from $261.70. A gasoline tax, set at 90 percent of the crude oil duty since May 2011 to counter domestic shortages, will decline to $356 a ton in January from $356.80 this month.

The government will raise the duty on liquefied petroleum gases such as butane and propane to $198.70 a ton from $197.40.

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