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Russia March Oil Export Tax May Hit 10-Month High on Urals Rise

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Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Russia, the world’s biggest energy exporter, will probably increase duties on most oil shipments abroad by 4.3 percent on March 1 to the highest level since May after Urals crude prices rose.

The standard export duty is set to increase to $420.60 a metric ton, or about $57.38 a barrel, from $403.30 a ton this month, according to Bloomberg calculations based on oil price data from the Finance Ministry. The duty was $448.60 a ton in May 2012.

The government is reviewing the export duty structure and may propose changes by the end of next month to stimulate output and help producers meet President Vladimir Putin’s goal of more than 10 million barrels a day. Production was 10.47 million barrels a day in January, near a post-Soviet high, according to preliminary 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 may grow to $211.40 a ton from $198.50 this month. The levy on extra-heavy crude, set at 10 percent of the standard duty, would be $42 in March.

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 about $114.38 a barrel during the most recent period, Alexander Sakovich, a Finance Ministry adviser, said today by phone. In the previous monitoring period, it averaged $110.43, according to the ministry.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev must sign off on the levies before they take effect.

The duty for middle distillates, such as diesel, and heavy products, such as fuel oil, may increase to $277.60 a ton from $266.20. A gasoline tax, set at 90 percent of the crude oil duty since May 2011 to counter domestic shortages, may grow to $378.60 a ton in March from $363 this month.

The government may lower the duty on liquefied petroleum gases such as butane and propane to $131.40 a ton from $200.30.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jake Rudnitsky in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at

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