Brazil’s state oil major Petrobras announced that its average daily production last month stood at 2.74 million barrels of oil equivalent, a bit lower than in the previous month because of outages at two of its floating production storage and offloading vessels, operating in the Lula and Marlim fields.
The Lula field is the biggest in Brazil and Petrobras has a 65-percent interest in it. Its partners in the field’s development are Shell, with 25 percent, and Portugal’s Galp Energia with 10 percent. Last month, Petrobras said that it will be adding another two FPSOs at the Lula field this year, eyeing a major boost in production, not just from the biggest field but across the presalt region.
According to some analysts, Petrobras is on the mend: the graft scandal that shook the company is slowly dying out and its performance is improving: the company surprised markets by reporting an operating profit for 2016, of $4.3 billion, from a loss of $1.13 billion for 2015.
Petrobras’ debt load continues to be the heaviest in the oil industry, still more than $100 billion, with EBITDA standing at just $25 billion, but some observers believe that this will now begin to improve, with sales this year possibly reaching $100 billion thanks to the company’s production expansion plans. Related: U.S. Oil Rig Count Hits 2 Year High
Naturally, like everyone else in the industry, Petrobras has benefited in no small way from higher oil prices, but a looser regulatory framework at home and the appreciation of the Brazilian real have also been helpful.
Earlier this week, reports emerged that the government may soon finalize legislation proposed last year, which would allow Petrobras to opt out of bidding for new presalt projects if it finds itself unable to afford it. Before, the company was obliged to take a 30-percent stake in every presalt project to protect the nation’s interests in natural resource exploitation.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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