Oil production at Brazil's Petrobras rose in the first quarter as additional wells ramped up or came online, while a new platform set to start pumping in May should help that trend continue, the state-run company said on Wednesday.
In a securities filing, the company said crude production came to 2.231 million barrels per day, up 1.6% from the same period last year and 3.7% from the fourth quarter.
Including natural gas, Petrobras produced 2.796 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, up 1.1% from the first quarter of 2021 and 3.4% in quarterly terms.
In comments accompanying the figures, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the firm is formally known, stressed the continued ramp-up of its Carioca FPSO and P-68 platform, located in the pre-salt, a deepwater formation that has become the center of the company's efforts in recent years. Average first-quarter production at Carioca came in at 127,000 bpd, the company said.
The company also noted that two wells came on line in early March at its Roncador field, adding 18,000 bpd of production. A number of maintenance stoppages in the fourth quarter meant the company had a relatively favorable comparative base, Petrobras added.
In May, Petrobras should start production at its Guanabara FPSO in the Mero field, which will have a processing capacity of 180,000 bpd when fully ramped up, the company said.
Refinery utilization rates came to 87% in the quarter, and some 91% in the last week of March.
(Reuters - Reporting by Gram Slattery in Rio de Janeiro and Robeto Samora in Sao Paulo; Editing by Chris Reese, Christian Plumb and David Gregorio)