Petrobras Output Down 8.7% at Four Venezuelan Fields Since May

CARACAS Sep 21, 2006 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Brazilian oil major Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR), or Petrobras, has seen its output fall by 8.7% since May at four Venezuelan oil fields that went through a contract overhaul earlier this year, according to production reports obtained by Dow Jones Newswires.

As of early this month the four fields - Oritupano Leona, La Concepcion, Mata and Acema - were pumping a total of 60,800 barrels a day, down from 66,600 in early May.

The bulk of the production drop came from the largest of the four, Oritupano Leona, where output fell to 44,000 b/d from 48,000 b/d.

The dip in production indicates Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. is having difficulties managing oil fields that used to be operated independently by private firms. PdVSA took majority control of Petrobras' four fields, along with 28 others run by different firms, in April following a contract overhaul.

These firms delayed investments in drilling and workover programs amid the contract talks, but PdVSA said output would rise swiftly after completing the negotiations. Petrobras was not immediately available for comment. In its financial report for the second quarter of 2006, it said average daily production at the four fields was 67,010 b/d.

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