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MOSCOW, June 5 (Reuters) - Russia’s Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of gas producer Gazprom, plans to ship 2.7 million tonnes of oil (54,000 barrels per day) to Asia this year, with around a third to China, company executives said on Friday.
Anatoly Cherner, deputy chief executive, also said shipments to China would be settled in the yuan currency, a practice that began last year.
Russian companies and banks, especially those under Western sanctions imposed over Moscow’s role in Ukraine such as Gazprom Neft, are trying to limit transactions in U.S. dollars.
Alexander Dyukov, Gazprom Neft’s chief executive officer, said the company used most of its yuan revenue for settlements with Chinese contractors.
“We are paying in yuan for machinery which we are getting from Chinese equipment producers. There may be some conversion (of yuan to other currencies) but in general yuan is being used to pay our contractors,” Dyukov said.
The company, Russia’s fourth biggest oil producer, started to use the yuan as a settlement currency for exports of crude oil and oil products with China last year.
Gazprom Neft’s spokeswoman said pricing was still U.S. dollar-based. Gazprom Neft shipped around 1 million tonnes of oil to Asia last year, including China. (Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Additional reporting by Olesya Astakhova; Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Elizabeth Piper)