Total CEO calls for bigger euro role in oil payments

Christophe de Margerie was responding to questions about calls by French policymakers to find ways at EU level to bolster the use of the currency.

Christophe de Margerie, CEO of French oil and gas company Total. (Getty Images)

Christophe de Margerie, CEO of French oil and gas company Total. (Getty Images)

Oil major Total's chief executive said on Saturday the euro should have a bigger role in international trade although it was not possible to do without the US dollar.

Christophe de Margerie was responding to questions about calls by French policymakers to find ways at EU level to bolster the use of the euro in international business following a record US fine for BNP.

"Doing without the (US) dollar, that wouldn't be realistic, but it would be good if the euro was used more," he told reporters.

"There is no reason to pay for oil in dollars," he said. He said the fact that oil prices are quoted in dollars per barrel did not mean that payments actually had to be made in that currency.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on Thursday that euro zone finance ministers would discuss ways of boosting use of the euro in international trade in their next monthly meeting on Monday.

"It would be a way to protect businesses when, outside of US territory, they carry out transactions that are perfectly legal in the country they belong to," he said.

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