(Bloomberg) -- The boss of Europe’s second-largest oil company said a Group of Seven plan to cap the price of Russian oil is a “bad idea,” the most direct criticism of the idea from a senior industry official.

“I think it is a bad idea in fact,” TotalEnergies SE Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne said at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London. “It’s a way to give leadership back to Vladimir Putin in fact, and I would never do that.”

The idea of the cap, which EU leaders agreed on Wednesday to impose, is to allow companies access to insurance and shipping provided by Group of Seven nations -- provided they agree to pay a capped price for oil. The US Treasury, which is championing the concept, fears that without it, Russian supplies will be halted and prices will surge.

Quicktake: A ‘Price Cap’ on Russian Oil -- Can That Work?

Under the cap, buyers in third countries would only be able to access European insurance and financial services to facilitate oil purchases if they adhere to the limit. 

Pouyanne said the market is already doing the work, with Russian barrels already available at a “deep discount.”

(Updates second paragraph with fuller quote, adds context throughout.)

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