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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.

Dow Jones Newswires

09/02/2013

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