Brazil’s energy and mines minister Bento Albuquerque said Brazil has no official plans to join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in the interest of increasing oil and gas production.

There has been speculation about Brazil’s potential OPEC membership since President Jair Bolsonaro announced personal aspirations to join the organisation in October 2019.

Albuquerque said during an interview in New Delhi last week: “The idea is just to increase our production and to participate more in the international oil and gas market, 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.”

However, Albuquerque added that Brazil was open to discussions with members of OPEC regarding possible cooperation. The minister is expected to visit Saudi Arabia—OPEC’s largest producer—in July for the G20 energy meeting.

Brazil is set to be among the top five energy exporters by 2030, with expanded output in the coming years, according to Albuquerque. Brazil is also seeking more investment from global companies other than state-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras).

Albuquerque said: “Petrobras has a lot of oil and a lot of areas to exploit but it doesn’t have enough funds to prospect all of these areas. There’s a limit for Petrobras. For that reason, we want to make it attractive for others to come and invest.”

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