Kazakhstan will not change oil export duties until 2014

May 23. Central Asia Newswire

Kazakhstan will not change oil export duties until 2014The Kazakh economy minister on Saturday vowed to leave the tax on crude exports unchanged at $40 a tonne through 2014.

One metric tonne is equivalent to about 1.1 tons.

Kazakhstan first imposed an oil export tariff in mid-2008, before suspending it in early 2009 when the global crisis led to a fall in demand for oil. Export duties were re-established in August 2010 at $20 a tonne and doubled to $40 on January 1.

“There can come such a delicate moment: if you are charging taxpayers, there comes a moment when you just overload them,” Kairat Kelimbetov said, speaking to the Reuters news agency.

“This will be followed by recession, which means no investments. The government is not discussing a revision (to the oil duty) at the moment,” he said in the interview.

Kazakhstan’s energy-rich economy has boomed for more than a decade thanks to strong commodity prices, while oil production is primarily driven by foreign investors equipped with the latest technology needed to extract oil and gas through often complex geological structures.

“We are not like the Middle East here. We don’t just open the tap and the oil will flow,” Kelimbetov said. “We have difficult production conditions that require a high level of technology. These are very capital-intensive projects.”