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Brazil Reports 6% Oil Output Decline In Q1

Crude oil production in Brazil averaged 2.8 million barrels daily in the first quarter of 2021, the country’s National Petroleum Agency reported, as quoted by Reuters. This was down 6 percent on the first quarter of 2020, the report said.

The output of state-owned Petrobras fell by 5 percent on the year in the first quarter of 2021, to 2.1 million bpd. The state major produces some 75 percent of Brazil’s total oil output.

Last year, Brazil became one of the very few winners from the pandemic and the crisis it caused on oil markets. The country became the third-largest oil supplier to China, which recovered pretty quickly from the worst of the pandemic. Unlike virtually every other exporter of crude, Brazil boosted its shipments abroad during the first half of 2020 thanks to China’s oil appetite.

As a result, Petrobras said it planned to boost production this year, to some 3.12 million bpd by December, the company said last October. It might have to revise these plans, however, in light of supply trends on the global markets.

Earlier this year, Iran began to ramp up its crude oil production in anticipation of the U.S. lifting sanctions on Tehran. This has yet to happen, but in the meantime, Iran is increasing its exports to China. As a result, other big suppliers to the world’s largest oil importer had to reduce their prices to stay in the game.

Even with such setbacks, Brazil remains one of the hottest spots in global oil. With billions of barrels yet untapped in its notorious presalt zone offshore, Brazil has attracted a lot of attention from Big Oil. The country is seen as one of the main drivers of future offshore oil production along with tiny Guyana. Drilling activity in both is expected to rise by about 10 percent both this year and next.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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