MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s energy minister has told Reuters his country should reform oil taxation to bring into production some 10 billion tonnes of currently uneconomic reserves and boost producers’ margins to compete better with rivals such as U.S. shale firms. FILE PHOTO: Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak attends the Energy Week International Forum in Moscow, Russia October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo Alexander Novak said oil production in Russia, which has enough reserves of crude to sustain current production for over 50 years, could decline if the tax system remained unchanged. “We have the highest oil taxes in the world. On average they amount to 68-70% of revenues. But in the case of West Siberian fields with no tax breaks, for example, they amount to 85%,” Novak said in an interview. Russia had long been the world’s largest crude oil producer before being overtaken last year by the United States, whose production has skyrocketed because of the shale oil boom. The cost of producing crude in Russia is higher than in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter. It is lower than in the United States, however, thanks to a weak local currency, fairly easy-to-extract reserves and cheaper oil… Read full this story
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