RIO DE JANEIRO – Petrobras' oil output at its Brazilian fields climbed in January to a record average of 1.92 million barrels per day, a 5.3 percent increase compared to the same month last year, the state-controlled company said.
The figure was up more than 25,000 bpd over the company's previous record high, registered last September, Petrobras said in a a statement.
Petrobras said the new mark was achieved thanks to the bringing on stream of the P-51 platform and to increased production by the P-53 platform, both located in the Campos Basin off the coast of the southeastern state of Sao Paulo.
But natural gas production fell 9.9 percent relative to the previous month to 47 million cubic meters (1.66 billion cubic feet) per day amid a drop in domestic demand.
The volume of oil and natural gas produced in the eight countries where Petrobras has production assets fell 5.3 percent compared with December – and 7.3 percent relative to January 2008 – to 214,956 barrels of oil equivalent.
The drop-off in hydrocarbon production in foreign countries was the result of “operating issues” at the Coulomb field in the United States and lower demand in Brazil for gas imported from Bolivia, Petrobras said in the statement.
At the start of January, Brazil said its demand for Bolivian natural gas had fallen from 31 million cubic meters per day to 19 million cmd after heavy rains had filled dams and allowed increased hydroelectric energy production.
After a meeting of ministers from both countries in Brasilia, Brazil agreed to increase its natural gas imports to 24 million cmd until the end of the rainy season, between April and May, after which time normal imports are to resume.
Petrobras shares are traded on the Sao Paulo, New York, Madrid and Buenos Aires exchanges, but the Brazilian government maintains control through a golden share. EFE