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Russia to apply more cuts in oil exports duty
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian government has offered to cut export duty for more remote oilfields in a move aimed at boosting crude output in the world's largest oil producer and generating more revenue for state coffers.
Local news agencies quoted Energy Minister Alexander Novak as saying the government will discount export duty by 45 percent for new oil fields in the East Siberian regions of Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk, the far north Yamalo-Nenets and Nenets districts, and the Republic of Yakutia.
Export duties are often the single largest tax liability for oil companies such as Anglo-Russian oil company TNK-BP (TNBP.MM), which is due to launch the new Suzun and Tagul fields in Krasnoyarsk in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Russia's top crude producer Rosneft, (ROSN.MM) whose Yurubcheno-Tokhomskoye field is expected to be commissioned next year, and Gazprom Neft (SIBN.MM), whose Novoportovskoye field is due to come online in 2014, are also expected to benefit from the tax break.
The cuts in exports duty will be applied for big fields with reserves of at least 10 million tonnes and no more than 5 percent of depletion as of January 1, 2013. The proposals are subject to the cabinet approval, expected in mid-November.
Novak also said that lower mineral extraction taxes applied to remote fields would be extended to 2022 from 2017.
"The new decisions are bringing in new deposits, and this means new tax revenues," Novak was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying. He added that new production fostered by the tax breaks would generate $300 billion in total tax revenues, or $15 billion a year, until 2030.
So far only a limited number of fields have enjoyed a lower export tax rate, including oil produced at some newer fields in eastern Siberia, Gazprom's (GAZP.MM) yet-to-be-launched Prirazlomnoye Arctic oilfield, and two fields operated by LUKOIL (LKOH.MM) in the Caspian Sea.
Duty for the fields has been set at $210.1 per tonne in October, compared with a normal rate of $418.9.
Russia is aiming to maintain its crude production - a key source of budget revenues - at no less than 10 million barrels per day for the next 10 years.
Remote fields as well as oil hidden beneath layers of rock - so-called tight oil - are seen as the main sources of new crude production in Russia.
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Catherine Evans)
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