The Observer (UK)
February 23, 2003

When Will We Buy Oil in Euros?

by Faisal Islam

. . . Iraqi oil, two-thirds of which is being snapped up by US companies, can only be paid for in euros.

. . . Soon afterwards, Jordan launched its own bilateral trade scheme with Iraq, carried out entirely in euros.

. . . Last year, in a little noticed Opec speech to a Spanish Finance Ministry conference, Javad Yarjani, a senior Iranian oil diplomat, said: 'It is quite possible that as bilateral trade increases between the Middle East and the European Union, it could be feasible to price oil in euros. This would foster further ties between these trading blocs by increasing commercial exchange, and by helping attract much-needed European investment in the Middle East.'

. . . 'The Saudis are holding the line on oil prices in Opec and should they, for example, go along with the rest of the Opec people in demanding that oil be priced in euros, that would deal a very heavy blow to the American economy,' Youssef Ibrahim, of the influential US Council on Foreign Relations, told CNN.


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