MELBOURNE, April 28 The Australian government
said on Friday it won't revise up petroleum taxes in next
month's federal budget, allaying industry fears after it last
year raised concerns about declining tax revenues.
The decision will come as a relief to oil and gas producers,
who have been battling a collapse in prices after spending $180
billion on mega projects to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The government said last November that takings from the
nation's petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT) had halved to A$800
million ($600 million) since 2013, while revenue from crude oil
excise taxes had more than halved due to a slump in oil and gas
prices and falling output.
A review concluded on Friday that the PRRT, a tax based on
profits from oil and gas production on- and offshore Australia,
should be revised for new projects, but not existing ones, and
only following talks with the industry.
"The report finds the decline in PRRT revenue does not, in
itself, indicate the Australian community is being shortchanged
in receiving an equitable return from the development of its
resources," Treasurer Scott Morrison said in a statement.
The review said no changes were needed to the crude oil
excise or Commonwealth royalty scheme.
Major oil and gas producers and the Australian Petroleum
Production and Exploration Association were all vehemently
opposed to changes to the tax regime.
($1 = 1.3383 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Richard Pullin)