Brazil's Guedes hopes Bolsonaro will increase Petrobras oil production if reelected

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Brazil's Economy Minister Paulo Guedes walks before a national flag hoisting ceremony in front of Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, March 17, 2022. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo

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BRASILIA, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said on Thursday he hopes President Jair Bolsonaro gives "adequate treatment" to state-controlled oil firm Petrobras (PETR4.SA) to increase oil production if he is reelected this year.

Speaking at an event hosted by lender BTG Pactual, Guedes said that would entail "de-verticalizing" - or opening the company's production chain to the market - ensuring an increase in its oil production.

According to the minister, this would also attract more oil producing companies to Brazil, which would help the country consolidate itself as one of the world's major oil producers, with the power to increase production to lower prices if necessary.

Bolsonaro did not mention privatizing Petrobras in his re-election plan that promises to continue pursuing policies that reduce the size of the state, despite Mines and Energy Ministry Adolfo Sachsida requesting its privatization to be studied. read more

Leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who leads polls in the run-up to Brazil's October election, has often spoken about his opposition to privatizing Petrobras, saying such an operation would harm government social programs aimed at bringing electricity to Brazil's poor and low-income population.

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Reporting by Marcela Ayres; Editing by Leslie Adler and Aurora Ellis

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