Bloomberg: Iran, the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, may use the Russian ruble in trading on its new oil exchange, the country’s ambassador to Moscow said. By Lucian Kim
Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) — Iran, the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, may use the Russian ruble in trading on its new oil exchange, the country’s ambassador to Moscow said.
“Big energy producers like Iran and Russia should try to free the world of dollar slavery,” Ambassador Gholamreza Ansari said on Moscow’s Ekho Moskvy radio station today.
The two nations already cooperate in nuclear energy and may start closer coordination of natural-gas production. Russia holds the world’s largest gas reserves, followed by Iran, and together they produce of almost a fifth of the world’s oil. The two share the goal of finding alternatives to a weakened U.S. dollar.
Iran plans to trade oil in more currencies than in its own rial to offer diversity, the ambassador said. The exchange will open Feb. 17, the country’s official IRNA news service said this week. Iran has planned to open the exchange since 2005.
“I don’t think it would have any impact on the oil market at all,” said Kevin Norrish, an oil markets analyst at Barclays Capital in London. “I think it’s more political than related to oil market prices or dynamics.”
The ruble should be used as a “regional reserve currency,” Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said earlier today in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia. Medvedev, who is also chairman of Russian gas exporter OAO Gazprom, is the front-runner to replace President Vladimir Putin in March 2 elections.
“The role of key reserve currencies is being reconsidered. We must take advantage of this,” Medvedev said in a speech outlining his economic priorities.
Russia and other natural-gas producing countries should also form a group to coordinate production and sales of the fuel “as soon as possible,” Ansari said. Iran a year ago proposed to set up a gas cartel similar to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.