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Petrobras exported a record amount of crude oil in January this year, Argus reports, at 19.3 million bpd through the Angra dos Reis terminal.
The Brazilian state energy major reported record production of crude oil last year despite the pandemic, thanks to developments in the presalt zone, which holds most of Brazil's untapped oil wealth, and the cost of extraction is low.
At 2.3 million bpd, the record output was in line with Petrobras forecasts for the year, which stood at 2.28 million bpd of hydrocarbon liquids. The surge in production, especially in the second half of the year, was helped by a jump in fuel demand domestically. This uptrend is expected to extend into this year as well, and over the long term, too.
In exports too, 2020 was a year of records for Petrobras, again thanks to the low-cost presalt fields. The company reported a 33-percent annual increase in daily exports last year, to 713,000 bpd. Plans are to boost this further, to some 891,000 bpd by 2025, as part of a $55-billion spending plan, Argus noted in its report.
The presalt oil fields have turned Brazil into one of the world's hotspots in new oil exploration, and this is unlikely to change even with gloomy forecasts for oil demand never returning to pre-pandemic growth rates. Domestic demand for energy would certainly help: BP's 2019 Energy Outlook said energy demand in Brazil is set for annual growth far exceeding the global total: 2.2 percent versus 1.2 percent in global annual growth.
Although the supermajor forecast that the share of renewables will grow strongly in the country's energy mix, it also noted that oil production will also continue to expand strongly, with Brazil accounting for close to a quarter of the total global increase in production by 2040.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.