Petrobras Says Strike Not Affecting Output

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones Newswires), Mar. 23, 2009

All operating units of Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro, or Petrobras, are operating normally and haven't been affected by the beginning of a five-day workers strike, the company said in a statement Monday afternoon.

"Where necessary, Petrobras is operating with emergency cover teams," the company said. "The company reaffirms its undertaking to maintain operational continuity and market supply."

The company's comments dispute earlier reports from union officials.

The Brazilian oil workers strike began at midnight Sunday and led to the total shutdown of production at the Manaus oil refinery in Amazonas State, a union official told Dow Jones Newswires earlier Monday.

The Manaus refinery is the smallest of the company's 10 refineries in Brazil, with just 46,000 barrels of oil a day in production.

The official also said production was halted at the 60,000-barrels-per-day P-34 oil platform off the coast of Espirito Santo State.

The platform is the first producing oil from Brazil's giant sub-salt deposits.

In a press release Monday, the FUP union said 30 workers had occupied the fuel-control unit at Sao Paulo's Guarulhos International Airport and had stopped pumping of aviation fuel.

However, an airport spokeswoman told Dow Jones Newswires flights were operating normally, and she was unaware of any union action.  

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