MOSCOW, Sep 2 (PRIME) — The Russian government may start gradually reducing the export duty on gasoline in the short term, cutting it to 66% of the oil export duty by October 1, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said at a news conference Friday, RIA Novosti reported.
Starting from May 1, the government temporarily set a prohibitively high export duty on gasoline, corresponding to 90% of the export duty on oil, due to a shortage of fuel supplies on the domestic market.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin later signed a ruling to switch to unified export duties on light and heavy oil products, or the so-called 6066 tax regime, on October 1. In particular, the regime envisages decreasing the maximum size of the export duty on oil to 60% from the current 65%, which is levied on the difference between average world oil prices, estimated on a monthly basis, and an oil price of U.S. $182.50 per tonne, while also unifying the export duties on light and heavy oil products at 66% of the oil export duty.
In August, the gasoline export duty amounted to $394.40 per tonne and was expected to increase to $399.7 per tonne in September.
Furthermore, Shmatko said that the ministry has already prepared a decision to extend the production of Euro-2 emission standard gasoline that is expected to significantly ease the situation on the Russian gasoline market. The government said earlier that it intends to extend the production of Euro-2 emission standard gasoline from September 5 until at least mid-2012.
The government had earlier planned to impose a ban on the production of gasoline under Euro-3 standards from the beginning of 2012. However, oil processing companies claimed that Russia is not ready to end its use of Euro-2 gasoline, as it is used by most of the countrys automobiles.
Moreover, Shmatko said that the government plans in the short term to decide upon granting royalty tax reductions on the production of ultra heavy oil as compensation for losses incurred after the introduction of the 6066 tax regime. The benefits are to be provided not to companies but to a special network, Shmatko said without elaborating.