By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The ANP (National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuel Agency) in Brazil has authorized oil giant, Petrobras to interrupt its oil production in sixteen platforms and fourteen concessions due to the decline of international oil prices, the devaluation of the Brazilian real and the loss of the country’s investment grade.
According to the regulating agency the oil company may halt its production operations for twelve months in oil fields in the states of Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, Sergipe, Bahia and Espirito Santo.
The latest request by Petrobras to halt some of its oil production is part of the company’s plan to reduce costs and reverse some of the losses registered in 2015. Brazil’s oil giant announced earlier this year that the net loss for 2015 was R$34.8 billion, the largest in the company’s history.
Petrobras’ CEO, Pedro Parente, stated on Thursday that the company’s original divestment plan, announced in December, is maintained, and that a new business plan will be announced by the end of September. In December of 2015 officials announced the company was reducing by 25 percent (US$32 billion), its investments until 2019 to total US$98.4 billion in the five-year period.
“Our (divestment) goal of US$15 billion for the two years, 2015 and 2016, is maintained. Little was accomplished so far, but we are working hard (for it),” Parente told journalists while meeting with Petrobras-sponsored athletes who will be representing Brazil during the upcoming 2016 Olympics.
Parente also confirmed to journalists that the company was analyzing three proposals for the sale of participation in one of its subsidiaries, BR Distribuidora. In August of 2015, Petrobras board of directors announced that it was authorizing the sale of 25 percent of stock of its subsidiary.