Russia expands list of oil refineries eligible for tax relief

MOSCOW, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Russian has expanded the list of oil refineries eligible for so-called reverse excise tax after they agreed to invest around 300 billion roubles ($4.5 billion) to upgrade capacity by 2026, the energy ministry said on Thursday.

Russia’s most significant oil industry tax overhaul took effect on January 1.

It is phasing out exporting duty in the next five years and increasing its mineral extraction tax.

Some refineries, including those affected by Western sanctions against Moscow, will be able to claim back some excise tax.

The ministry said it has expanded the list of the plants eligible to claim back the excise tax to include nine refineries: Neftekhimservis, Novoshakhtinsky, Afipsky, Taneko, Orsk, Antipinsky, Mariysky, Ilsky and Slavyansk ECO.

The refineries have pledged to launch 13 secondary processing units by Jan. 1 2026 to boost their combined high-quality gasoline production by over 3 million tonnes per year.

Their investment from 2015 to 2026 is seen at around 300 billion roubles, the ministry said.

$1 = 66.5250 roubles Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Jason Neely