Iran has invited Brazil to join OPEC, Brazil's mines and energy minister said Wednesday.
Edison Lobao told reporters that Iran's ambassador to Brazil made the invitation two weeks ago to join the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. As a member of the oil cartel, Iran can recommend Brazil's entry.
Brazil's government is studying the invitation and the decision is up to the National Energy Policy Council.
The country's state oil company is beginning to tap recently discovered deep-water finds off the Rio de Janeiro coast. Analysts say the fields could hold up to 55 billion barrels of oil and transform Brazil into a superpower oil exporter.
In 2006, Brazil was the world's 13th-largest oil producer, according to the most recent data available from the US Department of Energy.
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