Rosneft Puts Off Issue of Ruble Bonds

Rosneft has postponed its ruble bond issues until market conditions improve, a company official said Friday.

Rosneft, which had debt of over $27 billion as of the end of last year, had planned to issue up to 45 billion rubles ($1.9 billion) in three issues, starting from the fourth quarter of 2007. The company will build a chemicals plant on the Pacific coast near the endpoint for the eastern Siberia oil pipeline, chief executive Sergei Bogdanchikov said.

Rosneft decided against building an oil refinery in Nakhodka because Southeast Asia will produce enough gasoline and diesel to meet regional demand, Bogdanchikov said Friday.

The firm asked the state to raise taxes on oil companies' profits in exchange for lowering them on extraction, Vedomosti reported Friday. Rosneft wants to change the tax on natural resource extraction to an ad valorem system linked to a percentage of the value of the minerals produced, rather than a fixed amount per ton.