Brazil to discuss OPEC membership in Saudi Arabia in July

The South American producer could become OPEC's latest member

OPEC

South America’s largest oil producer, Brazil, will soon launch discussions about joining OPEC, Brazilian Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque told Reuters on Wednesday.

In July, Albuquerque is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia, and on that occasion, Brazil could begin talks on becoming a member of OPEC, the minister said.

"Saudi Arabia holds the presidency of the G20. I will be there in July, then we can start discussion,” Albuquerque said.

When asked if his country would be willing to cap output, Albuquerque said it was "a matter of negotiations".

Even if talks are successful, Brazil is not expected to become a member of OPEC this year, Albuquerque told Reuters. 

OPEC itself estimates that Brazil will be the second-largest contributor to non-OPEC supply growth in 2020, after the US.

Brazil, like the US, is not part of the OPEC+ coalition that currently restricts production hoping to draw down global oversupply.

In November, Brazil’s crude oil production topped three million barrels per day for the first time ever, the National Petroleum Agency reported.

Albuquerque, who is in Delhi ahead of the state visit of President Jair Bolsonaro at the end of this week, told Reuters Brazilian oil exports in 2020 are expected to rise to about 1.4 million bpd from 1.1 million bpd last year as the nation's crude production jumps 13 percent to 3.5 million bpd.

During Bolsonaro's visit, India hopes to sign agreements including a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the oil and natural gas sector, a statement said on Wednesday.

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