June 6, 2018 / 8:56 PM / 10 months ago

Russian authorities, oil firms agreed to lower oil export duty over six years

MOSCOW, June 6 (Reuters) - Russia’s finance and energy ministries and its main oil companies have agreed to gradually cut oil export duties to zero over six years, two government sources told Reuters on Wednesday after a special meeting to discuss the matter.

As a part of the reform, the oil export duty, which is now 30 percent, will be lowered by 5 percentage points every year till 2024, the sources said after Wednesday’s meeting.

Russian officials have long been at odds over how to apply a planned new tax regime to replace oil export duties and a mineral extraction tax linked to the oil price with a single profits-based tax.

A spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who chaired the meeting, declined to comment. So did the finance ministry, the energy ministry, and Rosneft and Lukoil. Gazprom Neft was not available for immediate comments.

Alexey Sazanov, the head of the tax department in the finance ministry, told Reuters last month that the ministry had floated a idea to lower export duty to zero over five or six years.

Reporting by Polina Nikolskaya, Vladimir Soldatkin and Darya Korsunskaya, writing by Denis Pinchuk, editing by Larry King

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