Petrobras to boost 2005 oil output by 500,000 bpd

Dec 17, 2004 01:00 AM

Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras will boost its Brazilian oil production by 500,000 bpd until the end of 2005, the company's exploration and production director Guilherme Estrella said.
With the new production, Petrobras' crude output from its Brazilian fields is slated to reach an average of 1.9 mm bpd by the end of 2005, Estrella said.

The increase is slated to come mainly through the production start of four new floating oil platforms. The company had already announced that its P-43 platform will start producing soon. The platform has an expected output of 150,000 bpd once it reaches full production.
In January, Petrobras expects to put its P-48 platform online, which also will have an expected output of 150,000 bpd. The operation of both new platforms has been delayed for more than a year due to construction delays. Two further platforms -- the P-50 and the P-34 -- are slated to start production later in 2005.

As the company's already existing oil output decreases by about10 % each year as fields become mature, the delays had caused Petrobras' oil production in 2004 to fall. Company President Jose Eduardo Dutra at the same event said he expects average daily production for the full year of 2004 to decrease by 3 % from 2003.
The company had said that its oil production from its Brazilian fields fell by 3.2 % in November from October to an average of 1.477 mm bpd.

With the expected production start of the new platforms, Petrobras expects that Brazil will reach a theoretical self-sufficiency in oil by 2006. The country in coming years will still need to import some oil as Brazilian fields only render very heavy oil that needs to be mixed with lighter oil for high-quality gasoline.
Petrobras is, however, increasing its exports of heavy crude. Brazil also has a lack of petroleum derivatives, such as diesel.

In 2006 and 2007, Petrobras hopes to gradually substitute imports of light oil through the production start in oil fields off the coast of Espirito Santo, just north of Rio de Janeiro state, Estrella said.
The fields in Espirito Santo contain far lighter oil than the Campos Basin off Rio state, where the company extracts most of its oil now.

Source: Dow Jones
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