Why We Shouldn’t Underestimate China’s Petro-Yuan Ambitions, by Alex Kimani

It’s not clear if China wants a petro-yuan to further its own geopolitical designs or out of disgust with the U.S. and the dollar. Probably some of both. From Alex Kimani at oilprice.com:

  • Credit Suisse’s Zoltan Pozsar: the de-dollarization of the global oil industry is in full swing–even if we can’t see the final end game from here.
  • Some 40% of proven oil reserves belonging to OPEC+ members is owned by Russia, Iran and Venezuela–all of whom are selling to China at major discounts.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to ramp up efforts to promote the use of the yuan in energy deals.

The de-dollarization of the global oil industry is in a treacherous mission creep phase. Things like this don’t happen quickly, but determinedly and gradually, not exactly fitting into today’s media headline game that only considers instant developments. But it is happening and the tide will not be turned based on current and near and medium-term geopolitical developments.  Credit Suisse’s Zoltan Pozsar recently warned clients, in essence, that the de-dollarization of the global oil industry is in full swing–even if we can’t see the final end game from here.

And it’s all about China, of course. Pozsar does the OPEC math for us.

Some 40% of proven oil reserves belonging to OPEC+ members is owned by Russia, Iran and Venezuela–all of whom are selling to China at major discounts, and all of whom are on board with Beijing’s petro-yuan plan.

The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)–most notably Saudi Arabia and the UAE–account for another 40% of proven oil reserves, and they are increasingly cozying up to China.

The remaining 20% is also accessible to China, and China is already the largest importer of crude in the world.

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