FT: U.S. urged the largest traders to increase the supply of Russian oil

The U.S. Treasury Department has privately called on some of the world’s largest oil traders to abandon their fears about limiting the price of Russian oil, the Financial Times reported on March 9, citing five sources familiar with the negotiations.

“U.S. Treasury Department officials met with Trafigura and Gunvor executives and traders, among others, and assured them of expanding their role in trading Russian oil and fuel without violating Western restrictions,” the newspaper said.

Despite U.S. loyalty in trading Russian crude within the price cap, independent traders were wary of this market.

“The Americans actively encouraged us … to resume oil supplies,” one trader said.

Anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the U.S. have begun to undermine the dollar’s global dominance in international oil trade, as Russia and India have begun making most transactions in other currencies, including UAE dirhams and rubles, Reuters reported March 8. The agency recalled that India is the world’s third-largest oil importer and Russia became its leading supplier after Europe rejected Russian supplies due to sanctions.

On March 6, the head of the U.S. oil and gas corporation Chevron Mike Wirth said that the price cap on oil products from Russia has created many difficulties for the normal operation of world energy markets. He explained that the difficulties he said were related, among other things, to restrictions on the ability to buy, sell and insure oil products.

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