Oil could run dry at Estonian ports

  • 1999-01-14
TALLINN (BNS) - New Russian export duties on some types of heavy oil might cause changes in the structure of oil transit through Estonian ports.

Russia imposed a $10 export tariff per ton on two types of oil until April 1, as a termporary measure aimed at ensuring enough oil for domestic use.

Anti Oidsalu, board chairman of Estonia's largest fuel transit company Pakterminal, could not yet predict the exact impact of the new export duties on transit volume through Estonia.

He forecast the decline in transit of those heavy oils on which the export duty was raised. This decline, however, could be counter-balanced by an increase in transit of other oil types.

Oidsalu said that Russia's need of hard currency continues to be big and it's unlikely that the overall export of fuel will drop.

"One shouldn't underestimate the inventiveness of Russian businessmen," he said.

Oidsalu added that the rise in export taxes may hit the competitiveness of Russian fuel on the world market, which could lead to a decrease in Russia's market share.

Russia had imposed higher export duties on two sorts of heavy oil to ensure sufficient supply of oil for domestic use and increase revenue collection. At the same time Russian businessmen are unwilling to sell fuel at home because of problems with payment settlements.