Petrobras Sees Rise in February Output

Brazil's average daily oil production totaled 1.48 million barrels in February, 7.1 percent more than the daily average figure for 2001, Petrobras reported. The figure also topped January's record 1.47 million bpd.

Petrobras, Brazil's only oil producer, said in a statement its overall output of oil and natural gas taking into account overseas operations rose 9.7 percent to nearly 1.80 million bpd in oil equivalent. Natural gas alone, summing up domestic and overseas production, made up 45.48 million cubic meters per day in February, representing a 10.2 percent rise compared with last year's daily average.

Petrobras overseas production arm Braspetro works at fields in Angola, Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia and the United States, which in February produced 34,777 bpd of oil and 3.5 mcmd of natural gas. Petrobras did not provide comparison figures for foreign oil output alone, but the figure was well below 64,000 bpd reported at one stage last year.

As usual, the majority of Petrobras' oil came from the offshore Campos basin off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state, where 1.19 million bpd were extracted in February. Petrobras' offshore fields contributed with 83 percent of all oil and 59 percent of natural gas in Brazil and abroad. Petrobras aims to boost output this year by up to 15 percent and targets 1.9 million bpd of oil output by 2005. Total oil and natural gas production should reach an ambitious 2.57 million barrels of oil equivalent by then.