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Russia's petroleum-taxation dilemma

The petroleum fiscal regime in Russia is ineffective and confusing for investors. Could an economic-rent tax cut the Gordian knot, asks Zaur Muslumov, senior consultant, Palantir Solutions*

RUSSIA has achieved a remarkable growth in hydrocarbons output over the past decade (see Figures 1 and 2). Although most of this growth is a result of improved recovery rates from mature producing fields, new projects have also contributed to rising production. Both investors and the government recognise that maintaining such growth will require substantial investment in new development, but investment depends on the attractiveness of the country's fiscal regime for petroleum producers. The country has recently introduced two important changes to its fiscal regime. The oil-export duty was brought into force for 22 oilfields in eastern Siberia, albeit at a reduced rate, from July. Until then

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