Rosneft Asks Buyers to Pay for Naphtha in Euros

The biggest oil company in Russia, Rosneft, has asked buyers to use the euro as the default currency in a spot tender for the first time, Reuters reported.

In an official document, the state-run energy giant demanded the euro payment for the sale of naphtha loading from the Far East ports of Nakhodka and Vostochniy.

“The default payment currency should be euro,” the tender document published on Rosneft’s website showed. For years, Rosneft used U.S. dollars as a default currency in contracts.

It is the first time the euro has been set as the default currency in any Rosneft oil product tender and reflects the company’s attempts to offset any possible negative impact of U.S. sanctions against Russia on the company’s business, three traders told Reuters.

Previously, Rosneft used only U.S. dollars as a default currency for its oil and products sales, while the euro was considered an alternative currency in case payment in dollars was not available.

Rosneft said in the document it may consider accepting payment in U.S. dollars or Russian rubles as well, but such a payment should be made “only upon mutual agreement between the parties.”

Rosneft was included in a list of some U.S. sanctions imposed on Russian companies in 2014, although those sanctions do not limit U.S. dollar usage in Rosneft tenders.

Last year, trading sources told Reuters that Russian energy majors were asking Western oil buyers to prepare for using euros instead of dollars for payments and introducing penalty clauses in contracts as protection against possible new U.S. sanctions.

In its naphtha tender, Rosneft will offers buyers up to 180,000 tonnes of naphtha loading from the ports of Nakhodka or Vostochniy in September-December. Bids are due by 1400 GMT on Friday and the results will be announced on Aug. 29.