MOSCOW, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Russian oil company Gazprom Neft said it agreed Wednesday to accept rubles and the Chinese yuan for crude oil deliveries.
For exports from the Novoportovskoye field in the arctic, the company said it would accept the Russian currency, while China could use its own currency for oil delivered from the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline.
The switch could help the Russian economy reduce its dependency on the U.S. dollar in an era when Western economies are imposing tough sanctions on Moscow in response to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
Gazprom Neft said it made $2.4 billion in net profits and increased production 4.1 percent during the first half of the year.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, said in a July brief that exports of crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas accounted for 68 percent of all export revenues for Russia in 2013.
The first branch of the ESPO pipeline entered service in January 2010. Gazprom Neft started work in the arctic field in 2012.