By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In a Wednesday, October 18th statement from Brazil oil giant Petrobras, in September, oil production in Brazil averaged 2.17 million barrels per day, approximately 2.8 percent higher than in August.
In addition, natural gas production in the country was also up last month, reaching 81.5 million cubic meters per day, about two percent above August’s levels.
According to the state-controlled company, last month’s increase can be attributed to the restoration of production operations at two Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessels, or FPSOs: the Cidade de Itaguaí and Cidade de Itaguaí.
Both FPSO’s are located at the Lula field in the pre-salt layer of Santos Basin, about 240 kilometers off the coast of Rio.
FPSO’s are floating vessels located near an oil platform, where oil is processed and stored until it can be transferred to a tanker for transporting.
According to Petrobras, the Cidade de Itaguaí and Cidade de Itaguaí FPSO’s had been shut down for maintenance.
With the return to operation of these two units, Petrobras’ own oil and gas production in pre-salt fields operated by the company amounted to 1.68 million barrels per day last month, an increase of 6.6 percent compared to August.
In September, Petrobras’ total production in fields it operates in Brazil and abroad was 2.79 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (oil and gas combined), with 2.68 million barrels per day produced in Brazil and 106,000 abroad.
September’s figures come only two months after the company posted record-breaking pre-salt output figures.
In June, Petrobras reached a record high for oil and natural gas production, reaching 2.81 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. Of this amount, 2.7 million barrels were produced in Brazil and 113 thousand abroad.
In that same month, the company also reached a single-day production record in the pre-salt layer of 1.42 million barrels.
Brazil’s total production of natural gas in June also reached record-breaking levels averaging 115 million cubic meters a day.
Once one of Brazil’s largest and most profitable companies, Petrobras fell into turmoil when a mega corruption scandal was uncovered involving some of the company’s directors and construction companies who bribed executives to obtain lucrative contracts.
In 2015 alone the Lava Jato (Carwash) corruption scandal involving Petrobras impacted on Brazil’s GDP by R$142.6 billion.
By 2016 the company had replaced most of its leading executives, had drastically reduced investments and had started to sell off assets to try to reduce its losses.