Opec may switch to euro for oil pricing
Dubai, February 9, 2008
Opec may abandon the dollar for pricing oil and adopt the euro but any such switch will 'take time', a top Opec official was quoted as saying. A fall in the dollar has eroded oil exporters' purchasing power, prompting some members to call for a switch away from US currency.
Opec secretary-general Abdullah Al Badri's remarks sent the dollar lower against the euro on Friday.
'Maybe we can price the oil in the euro,' the London-based Middle East Economic Digest (Meed) quoted Al Badri as saying in an interview.
'It can be done, but it will take time.'
'Al Badri tells Meed ... that the producers' cartel may switch to the euro within a decade to combat the dollar's decline,' the magazine said without providing a direct quote about the time frame.
'It took two world wars and more than 50 years for the dollar to become the dominant currency. Now we are seeing another strong currency coming into the, which is the euro,' said Al Badri, who is Libyan.
Iran, at odds with the West over its nuclear programme, and its anti-US ally Venezuela have pressed for Opec to abandon the dollar and perhaps price oil in a basket of currencies.
But they have had little success despite the dollar's sharp fall against a basket of world currencies in recent months amid growing concerns about the health of the US economy.