Is OPEC courting Brazil? Secretary-General to visit South America’s biggest oil producer

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Haitham Al Ghais, Secretary-General of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is set to visit South America’s largest oil producer – Brazil, according to Petrobras. 

The invite was extended by Petrobras’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jean Paul Prates, after the OPEC meeting in Vienna. 

“The visit is going to take place before the end of the year. There is a lot of interest in Brazil in current developments. Even more than this, in fact: it is up to Brazil to act as a leader for the global energy transition, to serve as an example and a supportive partner for other countries that want to undertake an “energy metamorphosis”, which is how I have been referring to it,” explained Prates.

According to Prates, the meeting with Haitham Al Ghais, who previously lived in Brazil, will be an opportunity to further strengthen relations with the international organisation and to get a better understanding of how OPEC operates. 

OPEC is currently scouting for new members. 

A recent report by The Wall Street Journal noted that the Cartel was courting Brazil’s neigbour – Guyana. The country has no interest in joining the oil cartel and OPEC later refuted the claim that Guyana was invited to join its ranks.

It should come as no surprise why the Saudi Arabia-led group may want Guyana in its ranks. With 11 billion barrels already found and a clear line of sight to boost production to 1.3 million barrels a day by 2027, the South American country would be a key new member for the Cartel. The country ranks among the top non-OPEC+ producers set to push global supply growth alongside Norway and the US. 

OPEC had courted Brazil back in 2020 but the constant production cuts were why the country did not join. 

OPEC has been facing heat for the cuts, as of recent. The Cartel’s recent production cuts have not been welcomed by some in the West, considering that the energy market is recovering from the pandemic. The International Energy Agency has traded words with OPEC because of it. 

The Executive Director Fatih Birol in a Bloomberg interview said it should be “very careful” with its production policy, warning that its short-term and medium-term interests seem to be clashing. Birol said that higher crude prices and upward inflationary pressures can lead to a weaker global economy, with low-income nations in the direct line of fire.

Currently, OPEC has 13 members; Algeria, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

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