Brazil’s Petrobras said its gross long-term debt reached $61 billion in third-quarter 2023, marking the first time the state-owned company’s debt has been crossed the $60 billion threshold since second-quarter 2021.

The 5.2% sequential rise in debt in the third quarter compared to $58 billion the second was mainly due to an increase in leases and the entry into operation of the leased Anita Garibaldi FPSO unit, Petrobras said Nov. 9 in its third quarter financial press release. Petrobras’ debt was $53.3 billion at the end of first-quarter 2023.

Leasing of the FPSO added $2.4 billion in debt to the company’s lease liabilities compared to the prior quarter, Petrobras said.

Petrobras’ debt is still within the company’s accepted range of between $55 billion and $65 billion.

“Our debt is under control, but we're not only looking at that, we're also looking at investment needs,” Petrobras CFO and investor relations officer Sergio Caetano Leite said November 10 during the company’s conference call with analysts. “We're looking at the external environment, the adversities caused by the wars, but we're not only looking at the quarter either."

Petrobras’ debt last surpassed the $60 billion mark in second-quarter 2021 with $63.7 billion in the red. Petrobras’ debt was last in 12-digit territory when it ended first-quarter 2019 owing  $106 billion, according to details in its financial statements.

During the third quarter 2023, the Rio de Janeiro-based company also reported recurring net income of $5.6 billion, down 37.7% compared to $8.8 billion in third-quarter 2022, driven mainly by lower oil and gas prices, according to Petrobras.

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