(Reuters) – Russian state-controlled oil producer Gazprom Neft said it had received positive responses from Asian clients about the possibility of using euros as a settlement currency instead of the dollar.
Company head Alexander Dyukov said this week Gazprom Neft had broached the idea of dropping the dollar, traditionally the currency of choice for the global energy sector, in response to a possible new round of Western sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
He said the company had discussed with buyers the possibility of switching contracts to euros and that 95 percent had said they were ready to do it. Gazprom Neft ships around 30,000 barrels per day of oil eastward.
“Gazprom Neft has held discussions with its eastern partners about the possibility of completing settlements in the European currency. They, in turn, expressed their potential readiness for this,” the oil arm of top Russian top natural gas producer Gazprom said in emailed comments on Thursday.
Three buyers in Japan and China said they had been approached by Gazprom to settle oil payments in currencies other than the dollar. Two of the buyers said they were still considering the proposal, while the third said his company had bought crude using euros before and did not see it as a problem.
“Switching to euros is not a big deal. The problem is who will bear the exchange cost,” a trader with a Japanese buyer of Russian Asia-bound ESPO crude oil blend said.
Full article: Russian oil firm says Asian buyers willing to use euros (Reuters)