Russia cuts oil export duty from February 1

By RIA Novosti,

MOSCOW : Russia is lowering as of February 1 export duties on oil and petroleum products, responding to a fall in world oil prices amid the ongoing global financial crisis.

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Under the government decree signed by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday, the oil export duty now stands at $100.9 per metric ton compared with the previous export duty of $119.1 per ton.

As of February 1, the duty on light petroleum products totals $80.3 per ton against the previous $92.6 per ton and on heavy petroleum products $43.2 per ton against the previous $49.9 per ton.

Last year, the government abandoned its previously accepted bimonthly practice of monitoring the price of the Urals blend on world oil markets and from December 1 switched to setting export duties on oil and oil products on a monthly basis to respond more swiftly to changes in world oil prices.

Alexander Sakovich, deputy head of the Finance Ministry’s customs payments department, earlier said the average oil price was $40.16 per barrel from December 15, 2008, through January 14, 2009.

The global financial crisis has forced Russia, which receives a large part of its revenues from oil exports, to gradually devalue the ruble amid capital flight and a fall in world oil prices, which have declined from their peak of $147 per barrel in July to just around $40 per barrel.