Petrobras Ups Natgas Output 6.2% in 2006

Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR) and its partners in Bolivia increased natural gas production in the landlocked country last year 6.2% to 20.7Mm3/d from 2005, Petrobras said in a statement.

The production of NGLs increased 4.9% to 21,300b/d, the statement said.

Sales of gas produced by Petrobras to Brazil increased 5.9% to 17.86Mm3/d, while sales to Argentina grew 0.9% to 2.19Mm3/d.

Petrobras and its partners invested US$56.8mn in Bolivia in 2006, also directing US$3.1mn toward social projects in Tarija, Santa Cruz and Cochabamba departments.

The company also paid US$730mn in taxes and royalties in the year and spent US$100mn to contract goods and services and at least US$28mn on employee salaries and benefits, according to the statement.

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