(Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s state-controlled oil explorer is considering opening a Middle East unit as Latin America’s biggest crude producer prepares to join OPEC+’s cooperation charter.

Petrobras will begin formal analysis later this month on establishing a subsidiary intended to strengthen commercial ties in the Persian Gulf region, Chief Executive Officer Jean Paul Prates wrote in a text message to Bloomberg News on Friday.

Prates’ remarks come a day after Brazilian Energy Minister Alexandre Silveira told an OPEC+ gathering that the nation will join the charter in January. The charter is a platform for dialog that’s open to all oil-producing countries without binding them to output quotas.

“We’ll analyze the feasibility of establishing a wholly-owned subsidiary in the Gulf: Petrobras Arabia,” the CEO said in a text.

Brazil pumps more than 3 million barrels of crude daily, roughly equivalent to the output of OPEC+ members Iran and the United Arab Emirates.

Read More: Brazil to Join OPEC+ Alliance Charter in Non-Binding Move

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva has been strengthening ties with OPEC+ as part of his broader agenda of representing the developing world at large. Prates traveled to Vienna in July for an OPEC+ event and helped broker a visit to Brazil by the cartel’s Secretary General Haitham Al-Ghais in October for a meeting with Lula. 

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the company is formally known, will explore “mutually complementary ventures” with OPEC+ members both in the Persian Gulf and at home in Brazil, Prates wrote. 

Petrobras already is studying the creation of a Chinese subsidiary as part of Prates’ plans for international expansion.

--With assistance from Peter Millard and Kate Seaman.

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