Brazil's oil and natural gas output rose for the second time in three months in August as new output from giant offshore fields barely outpaced declines from the depletion of older areas and maintenance, oil industry watchdog ANP said this week.
Forty-eight oil companies produced an average 2.495 million barrels of oil and natural gas equivalent per day (boepd) in the month, 1.7% more than the same month a year earlier, ANP said in a statement, while output rose 1.1% from July.
The increases were driven by rising production from so-called sub-salt fields. These discoveries, part of a giant new oil province in the Campos and Santos Basins near Rio de Janeiro, are trapped deep beneath the seabed by a layer of salt and were first announced in 2007.
Subsalt output rose 1.9% from July to 365,600 boepd, or 15% of Brazil's total. Sub-salt output is 80% higher than a year ago, a sign that this new output is only just keeping pace with production losses in other more mature areas.
As of August, overall Brazilian output has declined in 16 of the previous 18 months despite the new sub-salt production and giant investments from companies such as Petrobras. The company was responsible for 89% of output in August, down from 90% in July and remained the country's leading producer.
Norway's Statoil ASA was the number 2 producer for a fourth-straight month with 50,233 boepd of output, 14% more than in July and 33% more than a year ago. Brazil's BG Group Plc was No. 3, with 47,626 boepd, 7.86% more than in July and 50% more than a year ago.