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Russian Oil Giant Rosneft Asks Traders to Pay in Euros for Crude

Sherry Su and Jake Rudnitsky

(Bloomberg) -- Russia’s state oil giant Rosneft tendered to sell a cargo of crude, asking would-be buyers to pay in euros for the consignment, just weeks after doing the same for refined fuels.

The company is seeking to sell 100,000 tons of Urals crude from the Baltic port of Primorsk, with delivery late this month, according to a notice on its website. The default currency for the transaction is the euro. Since late August, Rosneft has also sought payment in euros for cargoes of marine diesel and fuel oil.

Rosneft’s move toward the euro -- the U.S. dollar is the traditional currency for oil transactions -- occurs amid a flurry of American sanctions in recent months on entities in Russia, Iran, China and Venezuela. Russia is one of the world’s top three oil-producing nations and a major energy supplier to Western Europe.

“This could be a step to reduce U.S. dollar exposure, which makes sense for Russia, given the sanctions risk,” said Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG.

The latest tender appears to be for an additional cargo in a monthly loading program. Russia is increasing its crude exports from both Primorsk and Ust-Luga, another Baltic Sea port, after recovering from an oil-contamination crisis earlier this year.

“I don’t know how deep the market would be, but wouldn’t be surprised to see more of those tenders,” said Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS Group AG.

--With assistance from Dina Khrennikova.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sherry Su in London at lsu23@bloomberg.net;Jake Rudnitsky in Moscow at jrudnitsky@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net, Brian Wingfield

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