President Obama is meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff this weekend and amid rising violence in the Middle East and North Africa, said the U.S. would like to be a major buyer of Brazilian crude in the coming years as the country taps into pre-salt fields that are believed to hold massive oil reserves.
Brazil, already South America's second-largest oil producer behind OPEC member Venezuela, is looking to boost output in the coming years. Rousseff made a strong case for Brazil becoming a major supplier of crude to the U.S., noting in media interviews before Obama arrived in her country that it is difficult to name a country that has oil reserves comparable to Brazil's that isn't home to military conflict or political instability.
Brazil was the eighth-largest supplier of oil to the U.S. in December, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That placed the South American country behind countries that can be considered less-than-friendly to the U.S., including Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Venezuela and Angola. Canada is the largest supplier of oil to the U.S.
News of increased oil trade with the U.S. could be good news for Petrobras (PBR), Brazil's state-run oil company. Petrobras pumped about 2.6 million barrels a day in January, but is aiming to boost its daily output to 4 million barrels per day by 2020.