Khristenko Sees Oil Tax Cut Consensus

The country will cut taxes on oil companies to overcome production "stagnation" after a decade of growth, Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said Thursday.

"The output level we have today is a plateau, stagnation," Khristenko said in an interview. "We hope the debate on tax changes will be complete within two or three months."

The country's oil stocks rallied on the timeline. Rosneft, the country's biggest producer, gained 2.8 percent to 226.77 rubles in Moscow, after falling as much as 0.6 percent. LUKoil climbed 1.7 percent to 2,051.21 rubles, reversing a decline of 0.4 percent.

Output may fall for the first time in a decade this year as producers struggle with soaring costs and aging fields. Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said last month that the government may cut its crude-extraction tax by 100 billion rubles to spur development of harder-to-reach deposits.

Khristenko said he and Kudrin had agreed on a draft tax bill. The main question is how big the cut should be, he said.