Brazil's Petrobras said on Wednesday it expects to invest $68 billion from 2022 to 2026, a sharp increase from its previous five-year plan, as the state-run oil company seeks to grow oil production from the subsea pre-salt area.
The oil production forecast for next year fell slightly, however, with Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the company is formally known, saying it expects to produce an average of 2.1 million barrels of oil a day in 2022, plus or minus 4%.
That is down from the 2.3 million bpd the company previously said it expected to produce next year. The company blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for the reduction.
By 2026, Petrobras said it sees oil production of 2.6 million barrels per day.
The $68 billion that Petrobras plans to invest over the next five years is a significant jump from the $55 billion the company had announced last year for the period 2021 to 2025.
Of the new total, Petrobras said 84% would go to oil and gas exploration and production, with the lion's share destined for the highly lucrative subsea pre-salt area.
In terms of asset sales, the company said it expects to make divestments of between $15 billion and $25 billion over the next five years.
(Reporting by Roberto Samora; Writing by Stephen Eisenhammer; Editing by Chris Reese and Peter Cooney)