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Russia to raise oil export duties to record $275.4 per ton

Russia will raise oil export duties to a record $275.4 per ton from December 1, in keeping with world market trends, a senior Finance Ministry official said on Thursday.

The Russian government adjusts export duty on crude and petroleum products every two months, depending on changes in the Urals blend price on world markets. “The average oil price monitored in September-October was $76.89 per barrel. Therefore, oil export duty could be set at $275.4 per metric ton,” said Alexander Sakovich, deputy head of the ministry’s customs department. Crude export duty was $250.3 per ton from October 1. The average global price of Urals oil was $65.63 per barrel in January-October, against $61.93 per barrel in the same period last year, Sakovich said. A barrel of Urals oil cost around $79.6 in October 2007, against $55.7 in the same month of last year. The 2007 budget had $61 per barrel as the average Urals oil price for the year, and the country’s economics ministry reviewed the forecast to $67 per barrel earlier this fall.

The rising oil prices have provoked concern around the world. Abdalla El-Badri, Secretary General of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), said earlier this month that among other things oil prices were being driven by “persistent refinery bottlenecks and seasonal maintenance work, ongoing geopolitical problems in the Middle East and fluctuations in the US dollar.” OPEC raised oil output by 500,000 barrels per day from November 1. (