U.S. says Russia price cap should take risk premium out of oil market

The price cap that G7 countries want to impose on Russian oil to punish Moscow should be set at a fair market value minus any risk premium resulting from its invasion of Ukraine, a U.S. Treasury Department official told reporters on Friday.


Reuters | Updated: 09-09-2022 09:47 IST | Created: 09-09-2022 09:37 IST
U.S. says Russia price cap should take risk premium out of oil market
Elizabeth Rosenberg Image Credit: Wikipedia

The price cap that G7 countries want to impose on Russian oil to punish Moscow should be set at a fair market value minus any risk premium resulting from its invasion of Ukraine, a U.S. Treasury Department official told reporters on Friday. The price should be set above the marginal production cost of Russia's oil and take into consideration historical prices, said Elizabeth Rosenberg, U.S. Treasury Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes.

The G7 price cap plan agreed last week calls for participating countries to deny insurance, finance, brokering and other services to oil cargoes priced above a yet to be set price cap on crude and two oil products. Rosenberg said services providers would not have to police price cap compliance themselves but could rely on the attestations of buyers and sellers, leaving enforcement to participating jurisdictions.

She said the G7 countries - Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States - would work together in coming weeks to determine the capped price and other key implementation details. "There are several key data points we are considering and how the prices should ultimately be set and that includes the marginal cost of production for Russian oil," Rosenberg told a briefing call held for media in Asia.

"The price cap price should be ... in line or consistent with historical prices accepted by the Russian market." That could imply a potential cap of around $60 a barrel, experts say, as Russian Urals crude, based off of benchmark Brent, sold for $50 to $70 a barrel in 2019.

Russian government documents have identified a marginal crude production cost of $44 per barrel, although some Western officials believe it may be somewhat lower. A European official said G7 members had not begun formal discussions about the price cap, although officials had "notions" about what was possible.

"The idea is that you still incentivize Russian oil producers to export by guaranteeing a price in line with their cost of production with a small incentive," the official said. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and other Biden administration officials have been travelling to oil consuming countries to promote a mechanism that seeks to cut Russia's oil export revenues, the lifeblood of its war machine, without reducing volumes of Russian shipments to global markets.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Russia would halt shipments to countries that impose the price cap. Putin says Russia is conducting a "special military operation" in Ukraine to protect his country's security against expansion of the Western military alliance NATO.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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