MOSCOW, August 27 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian oil company Gazprom Neft has agreed to export 80,000 tons of oil from Novoportovskoye field in the Arctic; it will accept payment in rubles, and will also deliver oil via the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline (ESPO), accepting payment in Chinese yuan for the transfers, the Russian business daily Kommersant reported Wednesday.
The Russian government and several of the country’s largest exporters have widely discussed the possibility of accepting payments in rubles for oil exports.
Last week, Russia began to ship oil from the Novoportovskoye field to Europe by sea. Two oil tankers are expected to arrive in Europe in September. According to Kommersant, the payment for these shipments will be received in rubles.
Gazprom Neft will not only accept payments in rubles; subsequent transfers via the ESPO may be paid for in yuan, the newspaper reported.
According to the newspaper, the change in currency was made because of the Western sanctions against Russia.
In March, in response to Crimea’s reunification with Russia, the United States and the European Union introduced a number of targeted sanctions against Russia.
As the Ukrainian crisis escalated, the United States introduced several new rounds of sanctions targeting Russia’s defense, energy and banking sectors, and persuaded its allies to blacklist several Russian citizens and companies.
As a protective measure, Russia decided to avoid making its payments in US dollars, which can be tracked and controlled by the United States government, Kommersant reported.
Gazprom Neft gained control over the Novoportovskoye field in 2012. The field’s recoverable reserves exceed 230 million tons of oil and 270 billion cubic meters of gas. It is located in the Arctic and is part of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District.