Brazil March crude oil output down 8% from February at 1.853 MMbopd
BY JEFF FICK
RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazilian crude oil output slid for the third-consecutive month in March as maintenance shutdowns at several offshore platforms sapped production ANP said.
Brazil produced an average 1.853 MMbopd in March, down 8% from February and 11% from March 2012, the ANP said.
Oil production in Latin America's largest country was expected to decline in the first half of 2013 because of ongoing maintenance work at aging offshore platforms operated by Petrobras. Brazil has also encountered productivity declines at mature fields in the offshore Campos Basin, which accounts for more than 85% of the country's crude.
The March output decline was attributed to planned stoppages at three key platforms, the ANP said. Shell halted output at the Espirito Santo floating platform the company operates at the Ostra and Argonauta fields, while the Maersk Peregrino platform at the Shell's Peregrino field was also shuttered. Petrobras also stopped output at the P-54 platform operating at the Roncador field during the month, the ANP said.
The maintenance work has offset new production from the country's much-anticipated subsalt fields, a series of ultra-deepwater oil discoveries buried under a thick layer of salt off the country's Atlantic Ocean coast. Brazil's subsalt region, where new wells have recently increased production, produced 288,900 bopd and 9.7 MMcmpd of natural gas in March, the ANP said.
Natural gas production climbed to a fresh record in March, the ANP said. Brazil produced 77.3 MMcmpd during the month, besting the previous record of 76.5 MMcmpd registered in February, the ANP said.
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