The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) has denied holding talks with other major economies to price crude oil in a basket of currencies rather than the US dollar.

A daily UK newspaper reported that GCC oil producers and countries including China, Japan, Russia and Brazil have held talks on a nine-year plan to phase out trading oil in dollars, by moving toward pricing the fuel in a basket of currencies plus gold.

The newspaper claims the basket would include the Japanese yen, Chinese yuan, euro, gold and a planned GCC currency.

However, a GCC source denies this. “There have not been talks,” says the source. “We know nothing about this story.”

International oil cartel Opec declined to comment.

In February 2008, Opec’s secretary general Abdalla el-Badri told MEED that the producers’ cartel may switch to the euro within a decade to combat the effects of a low dollar at the time. The dollar has now rebounded (MEED 8:2:08).

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar, all members of the GCC, hope to ratify a plan for monetary union by the end of 2009. The two other GCC members, Oman and the UAE, have opted out of the scheme.