Iran Invites Brazil to Join OPEC

TEHRAN (Dow Jones Newswires), September 3, 2008

Iran has invited Brazil to join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Latin America News Digest reported Wednesday.

Edison Lobao, Brazil's oil minister, said Tuesday that the country's new position as an oil power is internationally recognized and Brazil has been invited to join Iran in OPEC, reported Latin America News Digest, citing Brazil's Folha Online.

Lobao said OPEC members believe Brazil will in the future be one of the largest oil producers worldwide, adding that discussions about Brazil joining OPEC began months ago when Petrobras announced offshore deposits in pre-salt layers in the country, according to Latin America News Digest.

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was accompanied by Lobao Tuesday at the inaugural ceremony for the first oil production in pre-salt rocks off of Brazil's Espirito Santo state, Latin America News Digest reported.

da Silva and his ministers said, however, that Brazil wants to be a fuel exporter, not an oil exporter, which is why the country invests in modernizing its refineries and constructing more units, Latin America News Digest said.

Jose Sergio Gabrielli, president of Petrobras, recently said that because OPEC is a union that groups oil exporters and not fuel exporters, Brazil joining the organization is unfeasible, Latin America News Digest said.

The Petrobras president added, however, that it would be up to the Brazilian Government to decide whether Brazil would become a member of OPEC, according to Latin America News Digest.

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