Brazil has decided to stay out of OPEC for the time being as it seeks to expand its oil production, according to media reports quoting energy minister Bento Albuquerque. “The idea is just to increase our production and to participate more in the international oil and gas market,” Albuquerque said in an interview.
“But this is not a plan for Brazil to join OPEC or any other association or group of oil and gas producers. We don’t want restrictions, we want to increase our production.”
This despite the fact that earlier in the month Albuquerque said that Brazil would begin talks with OPEC to discuss joining it later this year. But now the minister said that even if the talks were successful, Brazil would not join the cartel this year.
The idea is said to have originated with Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, who last year said that OPEC’s top producer and de facto leader Saudi Arabia had informally asked Brazil to join the organization.
“I personally would very much like Brazil to become a member of OPEC,” Bolsonaro said at the Future Investment Initiative 2019 in Riyadh in October.
Even though the latest plans are to stay out of the cartel, Albuquerque said Brazil remained open to a dialogue with OPEC on energy-related topics. At the same time, the country will seek oil tender feedback from international oil companies to improve turnout.
“Petrobras has a lot of oil and lot of areas to exploit, but it doesn’t have enough funds to prospect all these areas,” the minister said, adding “there’s a limit for Petrobras. For that reason, we want to make it attractive for others to come and do the investment.”