Petroleum fiscal systems: 2016 in review
2016 kept pace with 2015, registering 41 changes to oil and gas fiscal terms. The last two years have been fiscally unstable as governments tried to deal with the fail in oil price. Mexico made the most revisions, but tax changes in other producing countries had a bigger impact on investor value. Budget concerns forced tax increases. Russia and Brazil hit the headlines, while HB247 in Alaska ignited much debate. Elsewhere, there was a renewed drive to minimise the impact of costs because tax collections collapsed. India’s move was one of the most extreme. Some concessions were made to help producers break even, as many fields were running at a loss in early 2016. The tax cut in the UK was one of the largest, but the move was more about preserving jobs and spurring investment in undeveloped fields. More countries adopted progressive taxation, primarily to provide downside protection. But the reason for change in Ecuador was subtly different to Kazakhstan or Alberta.