Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras said this week that its crude oil production during the first quarter fell 4% compared to the same period last year, citing the sale of some assets and the natural decay of old fields.
Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the company is formally known, pumped 2.141 million barrels per day (bpd) between January and March, down from 2.231 million bpd in the year ago period.
Including natural gas output, the Brazilian oil giant produced a daily average of 2.676 million barrels of oil equivalent in the first quarter.
In comparison with the fourth quarter, however, oil output rose 1.4%, Petrobras pointed out, boosted by pre-salt production.
The Rio de Janeiro-based company said around 77% of its total oil output in the period came from Brazil's pre-salt fields on the country's southeastern Atlantic coast.
Production on post-salt deep and ultra-deep waters, on the other hand, fell 18% from the first three months of last year, mainly due to the shutdown of two platforms and the sale of oil fields Albacora Leste and Papa-Terra, Petrobras said, also mentioning the natural decline in production.
Those effects were partially offset by the start of production of four new wells in Campos Basin, the firm added.
Sales of oil, gas and derivatives came in line with the previous year, at 3.06 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.
The total utilization rate of Petrobras' refining park hit 85%, one percentage point below the previous quarter, the company said, pointing to scheduled shutdowns in three refineries.
(Reuters - Reporting by Peter Frontini and Marta Nogueira; Editing by Brendan O'Boyle and Muralikumar Anantharaman)