Petrobras Plans to Boost Espirito Santo NatGas Output More than 10-fold

Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) plans to increase natural gas production at the Espirito Santo basin more than tenfold by 2009 to 16.7 million cubic meters a day (Mm3/d) from the current 1.4Mm3/d, news service Agencia Estado quoted Petrobras CEO Jose Gabrielli as saying.

The increase is part of the company's program to boost gas production in coming years to guarantee future supply to the fast-growing gas market following a decision not to increase Bolivian gas imports in the short term as a result of the nationalization of the hydrocarbons industry there.

The government wants local gas production to increase 24.2 million cubic meters a day in the next two years.

The rest of the gas would come from the Campos basin, where Petrobras will increase production 6Mm3/d from the current 22.8Mm3/d and 1.5Mm3/d from productive fields in the Santos basin. Current production in the Santos basin is around 1Mm3/d.

The new gas reserves in the Santos basin, mainly the 419 Bm3 Mexilhao field, are currently under development but cannot be included in the project because of lack of equipment on the international oil market, Gabrielli was quoted as saying.

Mexilhao is only expected to start production in 2008 or 2009.

Petrobras will increase investments in gas production and has already started studying the price of new units for the Espirito Santo basin, local press reported.

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