Brazilian state oil company Petrobras exported in December an average of 620,000 barrels of crude per day, establishing a new record.
"The new record was 46,000 barrels per day more than the previous one set in October 2008 and which totalled 574,000 barrels per day," Petrobras said in a release. Though state-controlled, Petrobras is a public company whose shares trade on the Sao Paulo, New York, Madrid and Buenos Aires stock exchanges. December's oil exports contributed 574 million USD to Brazil's trade balance, the company said. The main destination of Petrobras exports in December was the United States, with 63% of the total, followed by Europe with 21.4%. Petrobras produced in November - the last month for which figures are available - an average of 1.84 million bpd, an increase of 4.6% over the same period in 2007. The bulk of Petrobras' production is used in Brazil, which with 186 million inhabitants and a strong emerging economy is the world's 10th biggest consumer of energy. Brazil's recent offshore discoveries of oil and gas along its southern coast, but at depths of over 5.000 metres and for which technology is still too expensive, could turn the country into one of the world's leading oil producers and exporters.