Brazil's July oil output slips due to offshore platform shutdown
BY JEFF FICK
RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazil's crude oil output slipped in July as maintenance work on an offshore platform undercut output, the country's National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, said.
Brazil produced an average 1.974 million barrels a day in July, down 6% from June and down 2.4% from July 2012, the ANP said.
July's decline reversed two-consecutive months of production growth after state-run energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro, or Petrobras, was able to boost oil output by hooking up new wells and restarting production at several idled platforms. In July, the 15-day shutdown of the P-40 platform at the Marlim Sul field for maintenance caused production to drop, the ANP said. Marlim Sul is one of Brazil's largest-producing oil fields.
Oil production from the pre-salt region, where billions of barrels of crude were found trapped beneath a thick layer of salt, also fell back from record levels in June, the ANP said. Brazil produced 296,400 barrels of oil a day from the pre-salt, down from a record 310,700 barrels a day in June, the ANP said.
Petrobras's maintenance work has undermined crude oil production throughout 2013 as the company works to renovate aging platforms in the mature Campos basin, where more than 85% of the country's oil is produced. The basin has also experienced productivity declines as the fields mature.
Natural gas production also fell to 78.5 million cubic meters a day in July, down from a record 80 million cubic meters a day in June, the ANP said.
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