Saudi Arabia rejects rumours of changing dollar as oil currency

Saudi Arabia rejects rumours of changing dollar as oil currency
Saudi Arabia has said it will stick to the US dollar to sell its oil amid reports that Riyadh was considering the change in response to US anti-cartel legislation.
2 min read
09 April, 2019
Oil well along the Saudi-Kuwait border [Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia will continue using the US dollar to sell its oil, the kingdom's ministry of energy, industry and metals confirmed on Monday.

The statement was issued amid rumours that Riyadh was considering switching from the dollar to other currencies in response to proposed US anti-cartel legislation.

Reuters, citing unnamed sources, reported Thursday that senior Saudi energy officials had discussed the option in internal discussions.

Riyadh allegedly threatened senior US energy officials with the currency change if NOPEC, a bill exposing OPEC members to US anti-trust lawsuits, was voted through.

The threat highlights Riyadh's annoyance about potential US legal action against OPEC. A change in Saudi's oil currency would severely affect Washington's position.

"The Saudis know they have the dollar as the nuclear option," one of the sources told Reuter.

NOPEC, or the No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act, would open the door for OPEC states to be sued for scaling back output in a bid to drive up prices.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly complained about high oil prices, calling on OPEC in one tweet to "please relax and take it easy".

The change - which would remove the US dollar from its central position and lessen Washington's over the world economy - would be advantageous to Russia, a big non-OPEC oil producers, as well as China and the European Union, who are major consumers.

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