Brazil to begin discussions on joining OPEC

Brazil could soon become the latest member OPEC after its energy minister announced that discussions are set to begin regarding the country joining the global oil cartel.

Bento Albuquerque said that talks would begin during a visit to Saudi Arabia – the group’s de facto leader – later this year in July. Although, the minister added that Brazil would not join the group this year.

President Jair Bolsonaro first raised the prospect of joining OPEC in October, but faced a backlash from the national oil industry relating to the matter of ongoing OPEC-directed production cuts.

Brazil’s oil industry is in a phase of rapid expansion – and it would become the third largest oil producer by current volume if it joined OPEC – so any decision to limit output would have a direct effect on the future development of the national sector.

OPEC and its non-member oil producing allies agreed to increased production cuts by 500,000 barrels per day at its biannual meeting in Vienna in December, taking the total supply curb to 1.7 million barrels.

When asked if his country would limit its output in line with OPEC’s latest terms, Albuquerque said: “It is a matter of negotiations, we have to start discussions.”