Saudi Arabia not Considering non-Dollar Oil Trade: Official

Frank Kane

DUBAI: The Saudi Arabian Energy Ministry has rejected the suggestion that it is considering selling oil in currencies other than the traditional US dollar.
In its first public reaction since speculation began last week that the Kingdom might consider pricing oil in other currencies if the Americans enacted legislation aimed at OPEC, the ministry said: “Recent reports claiming that Saudi Arabia is threatening to sell its oil in currencies other than the dollar are inaccurate and do not reflect Saudi Arabia’s position on the matter.
“The Kingdom has been trading its oil in dollars for decades and that has served well its financing and monetary needs. Furthermore, the Kingdom remains committed to be a stabilizing force to energy markets and does not want its key priority to be out at risk, including changes to the financial terms of oil trading relationships around the world.”
The reaction from the ministry – headed by energy minister Khalid Al-Falih who is also the chairman of the world’s biggest oil company Saudi Aramco – will put and end to speculation that the Kingdom intends to react radically to the possible passage of what has been called “NOPEC” laws in the US.
Such a law is opposed by US energy leaders and by the Energy Secretary Rick Perry as potentially destabilizing for world energy markets. A final decision on the law – if it gets passed by the US Congress – would be the responsibility of the administration of Donald Trump, who has not so far indicated his thinking on the matter.

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