Seniat Serves Suelopetrol with US$2.16mn Tax Bill

Venezuela's tax authority Seniat served local oil firm Suelopetrol with a U$2.16mn claim on Thursday stemming from a much-disputed retroactive increase in the tax rate companies should pay.

Seniat issued a press release saying it had presented observations to the taxes the company paid from 2002-04. In 2005, Seniat unilaterally hiked the rate for E&P projects to 50% from 34%.

A Suelopetrol official in Caracas declined to comment when contacted by BNamericas.

State oil company PDVSA has 60% in a joint venture with Suelopetrol in the Cabimas field in Zulia state. Over the last two decades, Suelopetrol has grown from a local oilfield service company to a mid-size upstream player, not only in Venezuela but also in Mexico.

In April, shortly after entering into the partnership with PDVSA, Suelopetrol president Henrique Rodriguez told BNamericas the joint venture had plans to increase production at the Cabimas to 7,000 barrels a day (b/d) from the current 6,300b/d by the end of this year.

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