Brazil’s Petrobras reported production of 2,684 Mboe/d in 2022, down 3.2% versus last year, but in line with forecasts. Looking forward, the state oil giant sees production rising at least 15% by 2027.

Lower production last year was reported across oil, gas and NGL sub-sections both in Brazil and abroad, Petrobras announced Feb. 8 in its fourth quarter 2022 production and sales report.

Petrobras’ production trended downward as gains from start-ups and ramp-ups at various FPSO units didn’t offset declines from divestments, maintenance and interventions, platform decommissioning and farm outs, it said.

The company’s strategic plan for 2023 through 2027 calls for a continued focus with heavy investments on the prolific pre-salt formation, especially in the Santos and Campos basins. The pre-salt focus is part of Petrobras’ overall push centered around the deepwater and ultra-deepwater regions as it continues to divest non-core assets primarily in the upstream and downstream sectors.


LatAm Outlook 2023: Brazil, Guyana Anchor Production Growth

Under Petrobras’ new five-year plan, production will remain relatively flat in 2023 compared to 2022, then reach 2,700 Mboe/d in 2024 and 2,900 Mboe/d in 2025. Production is expected to reach 3,100 Mboe/d in 2026 and basically remain at the level in 2027.

Importantly, production from the pre-salt is expected to rise from 74% of total production in 2023 to 78% in 2027.

Reservoir levels rise, gas volumes and deliveries fall

Weather conditions in 2022 factored in favorably for Brazil and Petrobras in terms of hydro generation. Petrobras reported electricity generation averaged 859 megawatts (MW) in 2022 compared to 3,419 MW in 2021, it said in its quarterly report.

“In 2022, electricity generation by Petrobras reduced by 75% compared to 2021 due to the recovery of hydroelectric reservoir levels,” the company said. There was also a “16% reduction in the volume of availability at auction, due to the termination of contracts in the fourth quarter 2021 and the divestment of the northeast oil power plants [Arempebe, Bahia 1 and Muricy] carried out in 2021.”

Gas sales and delivery volumes also declined in 2022 compared to 2021.

Gas sales were 57 MMcm/d in 2022 compared to 85 MMcm/d in 2021 while gas deliveries were 35 MMcm/d compared to 43 MMcm/d, respectively.

“The lower volume of gas delivered by Petrobras to the market in 2022, compared to 2021, was also due to the reduction in Petrobras' purchase contracts with partner producers and third parties, as well as the divestments concluded during the year,” Petrobras said. “As a result, these producers began to sell their volumes directly to distributors and consumers.”

At the same time, Petrobras also reduced its piped-gas imports from Bolivia by 15% and its LNG imports by 74%, “in line with the scenario of lower thermoelectric dispatch using natural gas,” it said.