Petroleum production cost does not attract GST

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Petroleum production cost does not attract GST

GST Council, has clarified that the cost that oil and gas producers recover from sale of petroleum before sharing profits with Government under a production sharing contract is not subject to GST.

Oil exploration and production contractors conduct all petroleum operations at their sole risk, cost and expense. Hence, ‘cost petroleum’ is not a consideration for service to government of India and thus not taxable per se. Cost petroleum is the value that producers recover from sale of petroleum to meet their infrastructure and production costs. Henceforth cost petroleum is not subject to GST.

Contents of the Circular

As per the Production Sharing Contract(PSC) between the Government and the oil exploration & production contractors, in case of a commercial discovery of petroleum, the contractors are entitled to recover from the sale proceeds all expenses incurred in exploration, development, production and payment of royalty. Portion of the value of petroleum which the contractor is entitled to take in a year for recovery of these contract costs is called “Cost Petroleum”.

The relationship of the oil exploration and production contractors with the Government is not that of partners but that of licensor/lessor and licensee/lessee in terms of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Rules, 1959. Having acquired the right to explore, exploit and sell petroleum in lieu of royalty and a share in profit petroleum, contractors carry out the exploration and production of petroleum for themselves and not as a service to the Government. Para 8.1 of the Model Production Sharing Contract (MPSC) states that subject to the provisions of the PSC, the Contractor shall have exclusive right to carry out Petroleum Operations to recover costs and expenses as provided in this Contract. The oil exploration and production contractors conduct all petroleum operations at their sole risk, cost and expense. Hence, cost petroleum is not a consideration for service to GOI and thus not taxable per se. However, cost petroleum may be an indication of the value of mining or exploration services provided by operating member to the joint venture, in a situation where the operating member is found to be supplying service to the oil exploration and production joint venture.

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