SAO PAULO, Feb 29 (Reuters) - Brazil, Guyana and Suriname have agreed to deepen discussions on cooperation in the oil and gas sector, according to a joint statement released by the countries on Thursday after a meeting between their presidents.

Guyana President Irfaan Ali said he expects Brazil's state-run oil firm Petrobras to become more involved in exploration in his country, according to a statement by Brazil's government.

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he would speak to Petrobras about possible partnerships with Guyana, where Exxon Mobil has made major oil discoveries.

The South American nations have also committed to work "unceasingly" towards the maintenance of peace in the region, according to the statement, after Venezuela recently revived its claim to Guyana's oil-rich Esequibo area. (Reporting by Peter Frontini; editing by Gabriel Araujo and Marguerita Choy)