Brazil's energy minister said that the country has no plans to join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at this time, though it is cooperating with the producer group. In 2019, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro stated that his country wanted to join OPEC, a step that would likely require Brazil to limit oil output.
"There are no plans to join OPEC at this time. We will continue to cooperate with OPEC," said Bento Albuquerque, the energy minister.
OPEC comprises Saudi Arabia, the world's largest exporter, and 12 other countries, including the United Arab Emirates. Since 2017, OPEC has worked with non-member producers, excluding Brazil, to limit supply and support the market through a group known as OPEC+.
"We continue to meet with Saudi Arabia and the UAE," the minister stated. "We understand the need of maintaining strong relations with OPEC and OPEC+."
According to estimates from the US government's Energy Information Administration, Brazil was the world's seventh largest oil producer in 2020, pumping 3.79 million bpd. Oil prices have risen to a three-year high above $86 per barrel in 2021 as OPEC+ unwinds supply limitations imposed during the pandemic and global demand recovers.
When asked if prices were too high and if OPEC+ was to blame, the minister stated that Brazil and OPEC face similar challenges, and that oil prices were having an economic impact. "We think that oil and gas prices are high and have a negative impact on the Brazilian economy. We also understand that this is a result of the global economy's revival," he added.
Brazil's energy minister said in January 2020 that the country would begin talks for joining OPEC later that year, but an OPEC source said that the issue had gone "very quiet."