Petrobras Dials Back Output. Idles Shallow Water Platforms

March 26, 2020

Image credit: Petrobras
Image credit: Petrobras

Brazilian oil company Petrobras on Thursday said it was dialing back short-term production, delaying a dividend payment and trimming its 2020 investment plan, among other measures aimed at reducing costs in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a securities filing, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the state-run firm is formally known, said it was reducing oil production by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) through the end of March due to lower global demand.

As part of that reduction, the firm will idle some shallow-water platforms with higher production costs, which are responsible for 23,000 bpd.

While that is a relatively small reduction for Petrobras, which produced over 3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in the fourth quarter, the firm left the door open to further cuts as it monitors the market.

Petrobras said it would cut capital spending this year to $8.5 billion from $12 billion by delaying offshore exploration and work on platforms and refineries.

The announcement comes after most oil majors have already adjusted their investment plans due to an oil price shock and global drop in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Petrobras did not announce any changes to its asset sale program, a key component of its five-year business plan. The company is planning to sell $20 billion to $30 billion in assets by 2024 in a bid to reduce debt, although the crude price collapse has complicated those efforts in the short-term. 

(Reporting by Gram Slattery Editing by Brad Haynes and Bernadette Baum)



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