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Small Oil Fields Get Break

ST. PETERSBURG — Russia will probably grant tax discounts to small oil fields as the world's largest crude producer seeks to stimulate output, Deputy Energy Minister Sergei Kudryashov said Monday.

A proposal to lower the mineral extraction tax for deposits with less than 5 million tons of reserves is being considered by the State Duma and has met no opposition, Kudryashov said.

Petroneft Resources, Volga Gas and Exillon Energy might benefit more than Russia's largest producers from such tax breaks because the London-listed oil producers and explorers focus on developing resources at fields smaller than the 50 million-ton reserve limit that Russia classifies as "strategic."

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