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Brazilian oil and natural gas production hits record in December

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Staff Writer | February 3, 2017
Brazilian oil
Oil exploration   3.433 million barrels of oil equivalent per day

Brazil hit record highs in both oil and natural gas production in December 2016. Total output in the country reached approximately 3.433 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d).

This is according to the Monthly Oil and Natural Gas Bulletin (link in Portuguese) published by the National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANP).

Oil production totalled 2,730 million barrels per day (bbl/d), surpassing the 2.671 million bbl/d produced in September 2016. That represents a 4.7% increase compared with the previous month, and 7.8% compared to the same month in 2015.

Natural gas production reached 111.8 million m³/day, surpassing the 111.1 million m³/d produced in November 2016. The increase was of 0.6% compared to the previous month, and of 11.3% when compared to the same month of 2015.

The Lula field, located in the Santos Basin, was the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the country, yielding an average 710,900 bbl/d of oil and 30.8 million m³/day of natural gas. The numbers represent the largest output ever recorded by a field in Brazil, surpassing of 663,200 bbl/d reached by the same Lula field just one month before.

A total 287 concessions operated by 25 companies were responsible for Brazil's domestic production in December 2016. Of these, 79 are offshore concessions and 208 are for land fields.

Of the total number of production concessions, one is currently at the prospecting stage, producing through what is called a Long Duration Test (LDT), while eight others relate to areas containing marginal accumulations.

Production in the pre-salt layer, currently operating on 68 wells, was of approximately 1.262 million bbl/d of oil and 49.0 million m³/day of natural gas, totalling approximately 1,570 million boe/d, or an 8.4% increase over the previous month.

Production at the pre-salt accounted for 46% of Brazil's total production. The wells of the "pre-salt" are those whose production is carried out in the so-called pre-salt geological horizon, i.e. fields located in the area defined in Article 2(IV) of Law (link in Portuguese).

Brazil's natural gas utilization reached 96.1% in the month. Gas flaring in December was of 4.3 million cubic meters per day, an increase of 13.5% compared to the previous month and 28.3% over the same month in 2015.

The main reason for the increase in gas flaring on the month was the tests in the Buzios field, conducted through the Dynamic Producer Platform. The year was a record high in the use of natural gas produced in Brazil, reaching about 96.1% utilization.

Offshore fields were responsible for 94.9% of the oil and 78.9% of the natural gas produced. Production took place in 8,573 wells, 755 offshore and 7,818 on land. The fields operated by Petrobras produced 94.3% of the country’s oil and natural gas output.

Estreito, a field in the Potiguar Basin, had the largest number of producing wells: 1,103, while the Marlim field in the Campos Basin was the offshore field with the largest number of producing wells: 63.

Petrobras's FPSO ("Floating Production, Storage and Offloading") unit No. 58, operating in the Jubarte, Baleia Azul, Baleia Anã and Baleia Franca fields, produced 189,600 boe/day on the 13 wells connected to it, making it the country's most productive UEP (Stationary Production Unit in the Portuguese acronym).

Mature land basins (long-term fields/testing areas of the Espirito Santo, Potiguar, Recôncavo, Sergipe and Alagoas basins) produced 142,900 boe/d, comprising 117,800 bbl/d of oil and 4.0 million m³/d of natural gas.

Of this total, 138,400 boe/day were produced by Petrobras and 4,500 boe/d by concessions not operated by Petrobras (326 boe/d in Alagoas, 1,601 boe/d in Bahia, 62 boe/d in Espírito Santo, 2,252 boe/d in Rio Grande do Norte and 249 boe/d in Sergipe).


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