A worker holds a fuel nozzle at a Gazprom Neft gas station in Moscow, Russia. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo
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Russian energy majors are putting pressure on Western oil buyers to use euros instead of dollars for payments and introducing penalty clauses in contracts as Moscow seeks protection against possible new U.S. sanctions. Seven industry sources told Reuters that Western oil majors and trading houses have clashed with Russia's third- and fourth-biggest producers, Gazprom Neft and Surgutneftegaz, over 2019 oil sales contract terms during unusually tough annual renegotiation in recent weeks.Earlier this week, trading sources told Reuters that Rosneft wants Western oil buyers to pay penalties from 2019 if they fail to pay for supplies in the event that new U.S. sanctions disrupt sales.According to four industry sources, Surgutneftegaz asked buyers to be prepared to switch from dollar to euro payments in contracts, and insisted on buyers being effectively responsible for any losses arising from sanctions.Russia supplies over 10 percent of global oil, so drastic sanctions against it could lead to a steep spike in oil prices.
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