Russian oil output has not peaked yet: official

FILE PHOTO - A pump jack is seen at the Ashalchinskoye oil field owned by Russia's oil producer Tatneft near Almetyevsk, in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, July 27, 2017. Picture taken July 27, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian oil production has not yet reached its peak and expectations that it could decline in the next few years are not justified, Alexei Sazanov, head of the finance ministry’s tax department, said on Monday.

Sazanov also said the government would take necessary steps if it saw risks of a decline in oil production.

Russia’s energy ministry said earlier that Russian oil output could fall significantly in the next few years if some tax and other measures are not taken.

Russia has embarked on its most significant oil tax regime overhaul in past decades by tentatively introducing profit-based tax and gradually cutting oil export duties.

Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Tom Balmforth