Keywords: separate cash flows, corporate finance, project valuation, tax design, tax structure, investments, investment decisions, cash flow valuation, oil project assessment, labour wages, labour costs, steel prices, risk factors, oil prices, petroleum taxation, Norway, tax reductions, depreciation, risk free rate, partial cash flow discounting
Separate cash flow valuation – applications to investment decisions and tax design
Oil project assessment using separate cash flow valuation (Jacoby and Laughton, 1992; Laughton and Jacoby, 1993; Emhjellen and Alaouze, 2002), presumes that the present value of the cost cash flow of oil projects can be calculated using a risk free rate. This paper examines whether this practise, at least to a first approximation, is reasonable. More specifically, the paper examines whether labour wage hours costs and steel prices – as cost factors in the investment cost stream – are systematic risk factors (i.e., have a beta different from zero). The paper also investigates whether oil price as a factor in the revenue stream is a systematic revenue factor. Separate cash flow evaluation has been discussed in relation to petroleum taxation. A petroleum tax commission in Norway stated that tax reductions due to depreciation should separately be discounted by a risk free rate. We discuss the role of partial cash flow discounting in tax design.