Monday, June 20, 2005

Lukoil, among others.

On Monday, June 20, top Russian oil producer
Lukoil made a rare foray into politics and issued
a statement addressed to the authorities, asking
them to cut taxes on oil companies and to make
better use of the vast revenues that the Russian
budget gets from oil exports.

Leonid Fedun, both a vice president and a large
shareholder, said taxes must come down if
companies are to expand oil output, which has
stagnated since hitting a post-Soviet high of 9.4
million barrels per day in September 2004. “The
state should decide which scenario it prefers,”
Fedun, quoted by Reuters, told a Renaissance
Capital investor conference in Moscow.
Like other Russian firms, Lukoil has kept out of
politics since the authorities launched a
campaign against former blue chip oil firm Yukos
and its former CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Khodorkovsky is now serving nine years in jail
and his firm has been crushed by a $27.5 billion
tax bill, which led to the forced sale of its
main operating unit. Yukos’ 18-month slide
towards ruin has scared investors and contributed
to massive capital flight, sparking fears that
more tax claims might follow. Several other oil
firms have been audited for back-taxes —-
including Lukoil, and some received assessments
or bills, but none as big as at Yukos.

Pleading for tax relief is like pleading with the
fellow operating the guillotine for a gentle
lowering of the blade.

The Russian tax mafia is feeling its muscle.
Crushing the oligarchs, they must feel quite
threatened by them.

Dark Ages coming soon there when the lights
go out and the machinery grinds to a halt.

Different countries, different time tables for
lights out.

Are you ready?

Full article.