Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, talking this Saturday, November 11, during the Ibero-American summit in Santiago, Chile, said that thanks to the discovery of as much as 8 billion barrels of oil off the coast of Brazil, his country might soon join OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
"This discovery of an exceptional reserve, with good quality oil and plenty of gas," he stated, "puts Brazil in a highly privileged situation. Very soon Brazil is going to join OPEC."
TheÂ new oil fields discovered by Brazilian state-controlled Petrobras puts Brazil among the ten top oil producers at 9th place, just after Venezuela.
Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez, had proposed on Friday that Brazil join Venezuela in a joint venture called Petroamazonia, which would sell subsidized oil to South America's poorest countries.
Lula responded saying that in his view OPEC should reduce oil prices: "The countries that have oil need to be compensated with a just price for their oil. However, the countries that sell oil, cannot think that they can live at the poor countries cost and choke their economies."
"Obviously we intend to participate in such a forum where we can discuss politics for the whole world. When Brazil is part of OPEC, we are going to fight a little to get a lower oil price, because this is one of the contributions that the oil-rich countries can give the poorer countries," the president stated.
For Lula, Brazil's biodiesel policy is already an alternative for Latin American countries as well as for some African and Asian nations. The Brazilian president reassured the world that Brazil won't change its biofuel policy due to the just-discovered new oil and gas reserves.
"We want to present our plan soon, defining the areas in which we are going to plant. And it is important to make it clear that in this government no one will have a chance to planting anything related to biodiesel in the Amazon except for dendê (oil palm), which is originary from the region. There will not be sugar cane in the Amazon,Â there will not be soybean in the Amazon", he ascertained.
Lula stressed that Brazil won't join OPEC before it starts exporting oil, something that will not happen until he leaves office in January 1st, 2010. For now, all the oil Brazil produces is being consumed domestically.
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