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Crude oil output from fields operated by Brazil's state energy major Petrobras hit a record last year despite the pandemic, at an average 2.3 million bpd, Bloomberg reported, comparing the production rate to that of Kuwait.
This was pretty much in line with Petrobras's own guidance for average daily production in 2020, which stood at 2.28 million bpd, out of a total forecast hydrocarbons production rate of 2.84 million barrels of oil equivalent daily.
The boost in production came mostly from the development of fields in the so-called pre-salt zone offshore Brazil, which sports some of the lowest-cost deposits of crude in the world, rivaling even those in Saudi Arabia, according to Bloomberg.
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.
According to BP's 2019 Energy Outlook, 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.
Last year, amid the pandemic, Petrobras launched a new phase of development at the Mero field in the presalt zone, aiming to add 180,000 bpd in daily production based on the capacity of the floating production, storage and offloading vessel it commissioned at the field in August.
A month earlier, the state major also launched a tender for another three FPSOs, to be deployed at the Buzios field—another deepwater monster in the presalt zone—with plans to boost production from the field to as much as 2 million bpd by 2030.
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.