Dec 19 2008

Russia and OPEC

by in Uncategorized


No promises from Russia on production cuts, but I thought this was interesting:

In a speech to the assembled OPEC ministers, Mr. Sechin said that Russia’s beleaguered oil producers had already pruned production in November, and could cut still more if market conditions warranted. But he gave no promises.

Instead, he put forward a list of changes that Moscow would like to see made to the international pricing and trading of crude.

First, he said, the world needed to establish some other recognized benchmarks than those now used in New York and London for trade in West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oils. Those benchmarks, he said, were “inappropriate and unfair.”

It was also “worth discussing” scraping the U.S. dollar as the primary oil currency and replacing it with a basket of currencies—a pitch made from time to time by Iran and Venezuela.

The world, Mr. Sechin said, also needed “new trading floors” in other parts of the world to counterbalance the power of the New York Mercantile Exchange and to better reflect the “actual turnover volumes” of crude itself, as opposed to the mere “financial instruments” traded on the Nymex. The Kazakh capitol of Astana, he said, would be one good location.

Mr. Sechin then pitched Russia being granted permanent observer status within OPEC. That way, he added, Russia could host an OPEC meeting sometime next year.


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