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Russia pushes harder for refining rationalisation

Tax changes might force smaller, simpler facilities to the wall

One of the central aims of Russian oil policy over the past decade has been to bring the country’s refining industry up to modern standards. And, as the country’s refiners grapple with weak prices and reduced tax benefits, authorities have closed a loophole that allows certain plants to export low-value heavy fuel oil (HFO) without paying duties—a move that will hurt simpler plants. Russia is the world’s largest exporter of HFO, the ‘dregs’ of the refining process produced through the most basic techniques. This is an inheritance from its Soviet past, when HFO was used intensively in power generation and heavy industry. Demand for the product—both in Russia and overseas—has been under downwa

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