Russia’s largest energy companies preparing to substitute petrodollar in settlements
According to a message sent by Surgutneftegas to one of its customers, the oil company wants to “avoid any possible problems with payment in USD,” the news agency reports. “We do not comment on our commercial activity,” replied the company, Russia’s fourth largest by output.
The reported move comes in line with the recent comments from the Kremlin. Last month, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Russia could reject the greenback in oil trade.
“It is not ruled out. We have significantly reduced our investments in US assets. In fact, the dollar, which was considered the global currency, becomes a risky instrument for settlements,” he told Russian TV.
Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak has said that the government is considering the possibility of oil settlements in national currencies, especially with Turkey and Iran.
Who else is ready to cut dollar dependence in Russian oil sector?
Surgutneftegas is not the only Russian energy company that is reported to be working to reduce dependence on the dollar. A Reuters source in Gazprom Neft, Russia’s third-biggest oil company by output, said its contracts already have a clause to trade without the US dollar. Gazprom’s oil subsidiary has not commented on the issue yet.
The largest Russian oil company Rosneft is also interested in diversifying. The firm has opened banking accounts in Hong Kong dollars and Chinese yuan. Rosneft has also prepared itself for the shutdown of SWIFT interbank cash transfer services, should Russia be shut out of the system as part of Western sanctions. A Russian equivalent of SWIFT was tested by Rosneft in December.
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