Petrobras August Output Falls After Sale of Argentine Oil Assets


RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - August oil and natural gas output at Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-led oil company, fell 1.42 percent from July after a sale of Argentine assets slashed the company's international output.

Petrobras, as the company is known, produced an average of 2.84 million barrels of oil and equivalent natural gas in August, its lowest output in three months, compared with 2.89 million boepd in July, the company said on Monday.

Production was little changed from a year earlier, rising 0.08 percent.

Petrobras concluded the sale of its 67 percent stake in Petrobras Argentina SA to Argentina's Pampa Energia SA in May.

The sale of the Argentine operation helped bolster a $15 billion asset sale plan aimed at reducing Petrobras' nearly $125 billion in debt, but it also cut oil output in South America outside Brazil by 80 percent in August to 5,900 barrels per day (bpd) from 29,900 bpd in July.

With the Argentine sale, Petrobras' South American natural gas output fell 47 percent to 1,181 bpd (7.09 million cubic meters a day).

Petrobras is refocusing its activities on Brazil and should be able to replace the lost Argentine production over the next several years, Solange Guedes, head of exploration and production at Petrobras, said during a conference call with journalists on Monday.

(Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by James Dalgleish)


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