UPDATE 1-Russia's Deputy Energy Minister Fyodorov resigns

Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:20am EST

MOSCOW Feb 13 (Reuters) - Russia's Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Fyodorov, who served as state oil company Rosneft's top financial official before joining the government, has resigned, the ministry said on Wednesday.

Fyodorov is close to Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin and sources close to both men have said he was likely to rejoin the oil company after a stint in government, where he was responsible for tax reform and foreign investment.

A major Fyodorov initiative, tax breaks designed to coax oil companies to investment in shale and other "tight" oil projects, where oil is difficult to extract, has yet to be formalised.

Fyodorov has assured investors that these tax breaks would pass by the end of the first quarter.

Those tax breaks, along with a package of tax holidays on investments in Arctic offshore provinces, must pass in order for Rosneft to proceed with exploration ventures with ExxonMobil and other international oil companies.

Sechin took over at Rosneft last year after leaving the government, where he was deputy prime minister to Vladimir Putin. He is building his management team and has hired a number of Fyodorov's former colleagues from Morgan Stanley to run the company's banking arm.

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