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Brazil invited to join OPEC+ from next year

Brazil invited to join OPEC+ from next year

 

Major oil producer Brazil has been invited to join OPEC+ from next year, officials announced on Thursday, following a meeting of the cartel to further slash production.

Brazil is among the world's top 10 producers and has been the largest oil producer in Latin America since 2016.

Its crude production hit a record 3.7 million barrels per day in September, a near 17 percent increase from the same month last year and a 6.1 percent hike from August, according to pricing agency Argus Media.

Brazil will "join the OPEC+... starting January 2024," the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced after a ministerial meeting in Vienna.

Brazil's Energy Minister Alexandre Silveira, who attended the meeting, called it a "historic moment for Brazil", but added his ministry still needed to study "in detail" the invitation to join.

"We hope to join this group and work with all 23 countries over the coming months and years," he said.

The 13-member OPEC headed by Saudi Arabia and its 10 partners led by Russia announced fresh production cuts on Thursday to boost prices.

OPEC+ was born in late 2016 when Russia and nine others joined forces with OPEC to prop up falling prices.

"Considering that Brazil is a large oil producer and is driving oil production growth it is important to have them on board," UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo said.

But Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen noted Brazil's "ability to increase production in the coming years".

"Joining a group which is all about production restraint makes no sense at all," he noted.

The 23-member OPEC+ is a motley crew of countries: Saudi Arabia and Iran are bitter rivals, South Sudan and Libya have been wracked by civil wars and others such as Venezuela are mired in economic crises.

The cartel faced its biggest crisis in 2020 as countries locked down due to the Covid pandemic, sending oil demand plunging.

The group agreed in April 2020 to slash output by 9.7 million barrels per day in order to boost sagging prices.

It began to raise production again in 2021 as the market improved.

Since last year, OPEC+ members have announced voluntary cuts to again boost falling prices.

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Published: 01-12-2023

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