Rio De Janeiro — Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras flagged another major production boost on Wednesday, while formally scuttling a refinery project outside Rio de Janeiro, underlining its laser-like focus on offshore oil exploration and production.
In a breakfast with journalists, Petrobras Exploration and Production Director Carlos Alberto de Oliveira said the firm would produce more than 2.7 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in 2019, with total production coming in on the upper end of the firm’s target range.
In its formal guidance, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the firm is formally known, predicted it would produce 2.7 million boepd in 2019, though actual production could vary 2.5% above or below the target. The firm produced a record 3.1 million boepd in November, the executive said, with production hitting 3.2 million barrels during one day in the month.
At the same breakfast, Chief Executive Roberto Castello Branco said studies carried out alongside China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) in recent months determined that it would not be economically viable to complete the Comperj refinery outside Rio de Janeiro.
The formal announcement was not unexpected.
Comperj has long been a symbol of endemic graft, and Castello Branco called it a “cemetery of corruption” on Monday. Petrobras is also rapidly exiting its downstream business and is currently selling off eight refineries throughout Brazil.
Nevertheless, the announcement appeared to put a nail in the coffin for the troubled project. Executives have since signaled that they are carrying out less ambitious projects at the Comperj facility, such as increasing the production of industrial lubricants.
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