Russia’s March Oil Export Tax to Hit 10-Month High on Urals Rise

Russia, the world’s biggest energy exporter, will 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 will increase to $420.60 a metric ton, or about $57.38 a barrel, from $403.30 a ton this month, according an order signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and published today on the government’s website. The duty was $448.60 a ton in May 2012.

The government won’t change the current 60-66 oil export duty system this year, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said Feb. 22. Production was 10.45 million barrels a day in January, near a post-Soviet high and above President Vladimir Putin’s goal of more than 10 million barrels a day, 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 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, will 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 Feb. 15. In the previous monitoring period, it averaged $110.43, according to the ministry.

The duty for middle distillates, such as diesel, and heavy products, such as fuel oil, will 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, will grow to $378.60 a ton in March from $363 this month.

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

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