According to Vedomosti, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said that the government would likely decide to decrease MET rates on natural gas for 2013 and 2014, and introduce differentiated rates after 2015. Interfax reports that Dvorkovich also said that the government did not exclude the possibility of providing access to offshore projects for independent companies, though some additional taxation and customs changes would be necessary prior to such a decision.
In general, we see the demonopolisation of offshore projects as positive for sentiment, although even if it materialises, we do not anticipate any immediate effect on independent oil producers' medium-term investment plans. As for the gas MET, according to a previous government decision, the new formulae are to be announced in September, so we do not expect any market reaction prior to that date. However, if the MET rate is lowered for 2013, that would be a positive for Russian gas producers’ financials for the period.
Dmitry Loukashov, Alexander Kirevnin, Ekaterina Rodina, Elena Kopylova, Mikhail Zarkhi
VTB Capital analyst
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