Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petrobras said it increased its crude production last year by 4.6% relative to 2014, exceeding the target set forth in its business plan for the first time in 13 years. Oil output in 2015 amounted to an average of 2.128 million barrels per day (bpd), up 0.15% from the 2.125 million bpd forecast by the company.
Production from the highly promising pre-salt region, meanwhile, rose to an average of 767,000 bpd, up 56 percent from the previous year and a record high, the company said in a statement.
The pre-salt region, so-named because its reserves - estimated at tens of billions of barrels of crude equivalent - are located under water, rocks and a shifting layer of salt at depths of up to 7,000 meters below the surface of the Atlantic, lies off Brazil's southeastern coast.
The result is important in demonstrating the company's great operational capacity, even in an adverse global scenario for the sector, Petrobras CEO Aldemir Bendine was quoted as saying.
The production figure was welcome news at a challenging time for Petrobras, which has been battered by the steep drop in global oil prices and a massive corruption scandal that forced the company last year to write down 50.8 billion reais ($12.54 billion at the current exchange rate) due to losses from graft and overvalued assets.