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Brazilian state-owned energy company Petrobras on 11 July recorded high production levels of oil and gas during the month of June. The gains represent a rebound following two-year lows in the first months of 2016.
The average of 2.90 million barrels of oil and natural gas per day (boepd) produced last month was a 5.53 percent increase year on year and a 2.35 percent increase compared to May.
By comparison, the production of 2.55 million boepd last March was the lowest monthly average since February 2014.
Solange Guedes, the head exploration and production official for Petrobras, explained to Reuters that the company is striving to jumpstart output and meet its production goals this year. Doing so would require Petrobras to produce 2.24 million barrels per day (bpd) on average over the next six months, according to Diego Mendes, oil and gas analyst for Itau BBA in Sao Paulo, in a report to investors.
Petrobras aimed for 2.15 million bpd average domestic oil output this year, but has fallen short so far. In the first six months of 2016, domestic production fell to 2.06 million bpd as a result of recent maintenance and declining production from the offshore Campos Basin as well as onshore fields. Nevertheless, the 2.20 million bpd achieved in June was the third-highest level on record.
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Mendes believes the reactivation of several Petrobras production ships coming on line in the coming weeks should allow the company to meet its goals. Indeed, Guedes said the firm’s floating, production, storage and offloading ship (FPSO) named Cidade de Saquarema could begin operations in the Lula Central field later this month and that she expects that Cidade de Caraguatatuba FPSO in the Lapa field will start operations in August.
The news from Petrobras, which has been beleaguered by a major bribery scandal affecting Brazil’s political establishment and an economy in recession, could boost investor confidence in the company. Petrobras shares on the New York Stock Exchange posted a gain of 4.02 percent on Monday to close at US$7.77.
By Erwin Cifuentes for Oilprice.com
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Erwin Cifuentes is a Contributing Editor for Southern Pulse Info where he focuses on politics, economics and security issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.…