''When it comes to gold, GATA is the truth,'' Sprott''s Embry says

Section:

By Edmund Blair
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=3984594

CAIRO, Dec 12. (Reuters) -- OPEC will not consider switching
dollar-denominated oil sales to the euro because of the
difficulties involved in such a ground-breaking shift, cartel
President Abdullah al-Attiyah of Qatar said on Friday.

Attiyah rejected a suggestion from outgoing Organisation of
Petroleum Exporting Countries Secretary-General Alvaro
Silva that producers might debate the move to counter the
decline in the dollar's value against other currencies. "I don't
think we will discuss it. I don't think it is the right time to
discuss it because we believe it is not easy to switch from
currency to currency," Attiyah said.

"Yes, I am concerned about the weaker dollar but we believe
we should be pragmatic, that we cannot switch because it is
very complicated."

OPEC could not afford to make the shift only to find the
currency market favouring the dollar again, he added.

Any such change would be a major shift in the balance of
currencies behind the world's most valuable commodity
market and would deal a heavy blow to the hegemony of
the U.S. dollar in international trade.

Non-OPEC Russia, encouraged by European politicians
seeking to bolster the euro's prestige, has said the move
to euro pricing might be possible for Russian oil sales to
euro-zone countries.

The 11-member cartel that controls half the world's oil
trade already is pursuing a high price policy to offset the
dollar's decline.

World crude prices rose after ministers at a meeting in
Vienna last week said they were targeting a higher price
to offset purchasing power lost to the dollar's dive.

U.S. light crude rose 63 cents to $32.50 a barrel on Friday,
valuing a basket of OPEC crudes near $30, well above the
group's official $22-$28 target range.

The euro on Friday was valued at just over $1.22, up from
88 cents two years ago.

Attiyah's comments came ahead of a Saturday meeting of
the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OAPEC). OAPEC includes OPEC members Saudi Arabia,
the UAE, Kuwait, Libya, Algeria, Iraq and Qatar but has no
power to set production policy.

Attiyah reiterated that OPEC could cut supplies at its next
meeting in February in Algiers to head off a possible glut
when demand eases after the northern hemisphere winter.

"There is a consensus about oversupply in the second
quarter. We said that we will discuss it very carefully in
Algeria and then we can take a decision," he said. "We
have to understand that this high price is not related to the
shortage of supplies. I never heard one of my clients say
he has a shortage of supply," said Attiyah.

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