Brazilian oil output in February was 14.6 percent higher year-over-year, according to the latest data released by ANP, the South American country’s petroleum regulator.
February production touched 2.676 million barrels per day, an ANP statement said, adding that natural gas output also rose 9.2 percent compared to the same month last year.
Figures released earlier in March from the nation’s Trade Ministry said that oil exports had jumped 94 percent year-over-year in February at 45.7 million barrels – a figure that topped the January 2017 record by 12 percent.
The surge in oil exports was a function of higher production from the offshore areas in Brazilian waters, where huge oil finds were made in the pre-salt and sub-salt layers in the past few years.
Brazil – which is not part of the non-OPEC group that signed up to OPEC’s concerted efforts to cut global supply – had said that it planned to planned to increase its oil production in the coming years, even before the cartel decided to commit to cuts.
Brazil announced last week that it expected to see its first profits from projects finalized under new profit-sharing agreements (PSAs) in September.
The PSAs were introduced by the government of Ignacio Lula da Silva to replace previous royalty payments and to ensure the state gets a bigger portion of the revenues derived from the deposits in Brazil’s presalt layer.
The announcement of profits from the new framework comes just as oil prices recover from 2.5 years of volatility.
New foreign investment is also a national priority for Brazil’s authority figures. After removing the requirement calling for Petrobras to be operator of all new projects in the presalt layer, last month the government also relaxed local content requirements for foreign energy companies, which they saw as a stumbling block for foreign investors. The move comes in preparation for new oil and gas block tenders scheduled for this year and next.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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