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India Increases Crude Oil Windfall Tax

India may have rolled back its jet fuel and diesel taxes, but the government increased its windfall tax on crude oil exports by 4.41% on Tuesday to take effect on Wednesday.

India initiated on July 1 a windfall tax on the country's oil producers and oil refiners who are exporting more due to the high international price of crude oil and refined products.

The windfall tax was originally set at 23,250 rupees per ton on oil producers and 6 rupees per liter on gasoline and jet fuel. The windfall tax on gasoil exports was set at 13 rupees per liter as India's oil companies reaped the benefits of buying cheap Russian crude but selling in the high-priced global market.

Just two weeks later, India was said to be reconsidering its windfall tax on oil companies as oil prices began to ease. India said it would withdraw its windfall tax when oil prices fell $40 per barrel.

On July 20, the levy was reduced to 17,000 rupees per tonne—today's announcement lifts it again to 17,750 per tonne.

Bloomberg data showed last week that India was taking fewer barrels of Russian crude oil, easing by 18% in the four weeks to July 25, and down 30% from its peak in April and May.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February and subsequent Western sanctions saw both China and India race to scoop up discounted Russian crude, netting Moscow's war coffers some $24 billion in March, April and May from sales to the two Asian nations alone, according to Reuters.

India exports roughly 5.7 million tonnes of petroleum products every month—a fair portion of which is now sourced from Russia.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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