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Russian petroleum tax policy – Continuous maneuvering in rocky waters


  • Fjaertoft, Daniel
  • Lunden, Lars Petter


This article maps and analyses petroleum taxation policy in Russia to investigate the extent to which it reaches the goal of maximizing government revenue from new petroleum field developments. Expected cash flows from four real-world fields in Russia are modeled in four real-world tax regimes in an attempt to determine whether the so-called ‘tax maneuver’ of December 2014 helps the government to reach its goal. Russia's tax policy is further analyzed in terms of the desirable tax system design features of simplicity, flexibility, stability and competitiveness. The article concludes that the changes to the tax system introduced additional incentives for field developments but failed both to improve tax system design per se and to maximize government tax revenue.

Suggested Citation

  • Fjaertoft, Daniel & Lunden, Lars Petter, 2015. "Russian petroleum tax policy – Continuous maneuvering in rocky waters," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 553-561.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:87:y:2015:i:c:p:553-561
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2015.09.042

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Smith, James L., 2013. "Issues in extractive resource taxation: A review of research methods and models," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 320-331.
    2. Silvana Tordo, 2007. "Fiscal Systems for Hydrocarbons : Design Issues," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6746, December.
    3. Lund, Diderik, 2002. "Rent taxation when cost monitoring is imperfect," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 211-228, June.
    4. James Poterba, 2010. "The Challenge of Tax Reform and Expanding the Tax Base," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 41(2), pages 133-148.
    5. Alexander G. Kemp, 1992. "Development Risks and Petroleum Fiscal Systems: a Comparative Study of the UK, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
    6. P. J. Lloyd, 1984. "Resource Rent Taxes," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 17(2), pages 37-46, August.
    7. Helmi-Oskoui, B. & Narayanan, R. & Glover, T. & Lyon, K. S. & Sinha, M., 1992. "Optimal extraction of petroleum resources : An empirical approach," Resources and Energy, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 267-285, September.
    8. Brenton Goldsworthy & Daria V Zakharova, 2010. "Evaluation of the Oil Fiscal Regime in Russia and Proposals for Reform," IMF Working Papers 10/33, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Hadhek Zouhaier & Kefi Mohamed Karim, 2012. "Democracy, Investment and Economic Growth," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 2(3), pages 233-240.
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    Russia; Tax policy; Petroleum; Government revenue;


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