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Last Updated: Friday, 22 December 2006, 10:30 GMT
Venezuela mulls euro oil switch
Hugo Chavez
Venezuela's government is interested in the Iranian move
Venezuela has expressed interest in an Iranian move to ask buyers to pay for oil in euros rather than US dollars.

The oil-rich nation said it planned to see if a similar scheme could be introduced to its crude exports.

Iran, the world's fourth-biggest oil producer, has already asked customers to pay for its oil in euros because of the current weakness of the dollar.

Although the dollar is the currency in which oil is usually traded, it has been falling in value against the euro.

Strained relations

The US currency tumbled to 20-month lows against the single European currency earlier this month.

Iran still prices its oil in dollars, but currently receives payment for 57% of its crude exports in euros, according to the National Iranian Oil Company.

Venezuela's energy minister Rafael Ramirez described the Iranian scheme as "very interesting".

Venezuela and Iran, which have strained political relations with Washington, are both members of oil producers' cartel Opec.


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