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Yahoo! News: Venezuela cuts Shell tax bill to 13 million dollars

CARACAS (AFP) – The Venezuelan government has announced its reduction of a demand for back taxes and interest against a unit of Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch/Shell to 13 million dollars.
Although still a hefty sum, the new tax demand is significantly less than the 131 million dollars the authorities had demanded from the oil major's local unit last year.
Shell signed an accord with the government last month deepening its commercial ties with the state-owned Venezuelan oil company, PDVSA, after Caracas said it and other foreign energy groups had failed to meet the requirements of a 2001 law.
The law mandated 16.6 percent royalties and income taxes of 50 percent on petroleum production.
In mid-August, the authorities briefly shut down Shell's offices for 48 hours as tensions over the law mounted.
Spain's Repsol, Brazil's Petrobras, Japanese group Teikoku, and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) have also signed agreements relating to the 2001 law.

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