Bento Albuquerque, Brazil’s Energy Minister, has said the country can potentially more than double its oil production, although he did not indicate how quickly this could be realised.
Currently, the South American country produces about three million barrels per day (bpd) of oil. Albuquerque expects that this in time could reach 7 million bpd, which could place it as one of the world’s top oil producers. He also said the country’s oil reserves could double to 30 billion barrels of oil equivalent in the wake of its huge transfer-of-rights auction that took place in early November.
Many international oil companies and lubricant makers are looking to move into Brazil. In the first auction in October, Total, ExxonMobil, Shell, Petrobras, Chevron, Repsol, and Petronas all won exploration blocks offshore of Brazil, raising $2.17 billion in signing bonus in the process.
Oil production is already increasing rapidly in Brazil, however, as new offshore oil fields come online. OPEC estimates that Brazil’s production reached a new record high of 2.99 million bpd of crude oil in August. Energy Aspects, meanwhile, estimates that total liquids production increased by 480,000 bpd year on year in August to reach 3.1 million bpd.
Brazil is not a member of OPEC, nor does it participate in the OPEC-led production deal, so it has no obligations that would limit its production growth. Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian President, has said Saudi Arabia has informally invited it to join the oil cartel, however, and expressed his personal belief that Brazil should indeed join OPEC.