By The Financial District
Brazil's Petrobas Nixes U.S. Plea For Firm To Hike Oil Output
US government officials in March asked Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras whether it could increase crude output after Russia's invasion of Ukraine sent global prices soaring, three people with knowledge of the matter told Gabriel Stargardter, Gram Slaterry, and Rodrigo Viga Gaier of Reuters.
Photo Insert: Petrobras denied in a statement that any meeting had occurred with "representatives of the US State Department."
They came away empty-handed, the sources said. Officials at Petrobras, formally Petroleo Brasileiro SA, said output levels were a function of business strategy rather than diplomacy and also that a significant short-term production boost would not be logistically possible, the sources said.
"We are ... doing everything possible with our allies and partners to mitigate the economic impacts of Russian actions on other economies like Brazil," a US State Department spokesperson said in a statement to Reuters.
"We are working with energy companies to surge their capacity to supply energy to the market, particularly as prices increase." The spokesperson did not elaborate or comment specifically on the March meeting with Petrobras officials.
Petrobras denied in a statement that any meeting had occurred with "representatives of the US State Department."
It did not respond to a request for comment when asked if it had been contacted by any other US government agency. Washington has been making a sweeping diplomatic push to secure global oil supplies and keep a lid on prices after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
US officials also have been trying to improve relations with the right-wing government of President Jair Bolsonaro, despite disagreements over the Ukraine war and environmental policy. Brazil is the world's ninth-largest oil producer.
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