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Tax move by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez

Chavez boosts state's take from the oil patch

PRESIDENT Hugo Chavez has unveiled a revamp of the Venezuela’s upstream regime, hiking the already-hefty 60% tax rate on oil exports to as much as 95%. But the massive rise is not as onerous as it looks and may not prompt an exodus from the nation’s oil patch. Under the new regime, a 95% tax will be levied on oil exports when prices exceed $100 a barrel. The price is based on the Venezuelan basket, an average price of six domestic crudes, rather than international benchmarks such as Brent. The progressive tax kicks in when prices hit $70 a barrel, with an 80% rate applying to the excess, increasing to 90% when the basket price goes over $90/b, and hitting 95% when the $100/b threshold is r

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