Brazil’s state-owned Petrobras expects its production to average 2.6 MMboe/d in 2022, down slightly compared to its initial production forecast for the year as production gains in the third quarter of 2022 and through the first nine months of the year still compete fiercely to offset issues negatively impacting production.
In the most recent three-month period, Petrobras’ production averaged 2.64 MMboe/d in the third quarter of 2022, flat compared to the previous quarter and down 7% compared to the previous-year quarter, the company revealed in its quarterly production and sales report. Production from the prolific pre-salt formation during the quarter averaged 1.95 MMboe/d or 73% of total production.
For the nine-month period between January and September of 2022, production was down 4% compared to the same period last year, Petrobras said.
Petrobras’ production gains in the third quarter came from the ramp-up at the FPSO Guanabara, high production from P-68 in the Berbigao and Sururu fields and lower losses related to maintenance and interventions. These gains offset production losses but within a small margin. The nine-month production figures suffered from the same impacts.
The primary negative issues impacting production in the quarter included a greater impact of the production sharing agreements for the Transfer of Rights surplus volumes at the Atapu and Sepia fields due to a reduction in Petrobras’ participation there, as well as stoppage for decommissioning and demobilization of the FPSO Capixaba and natural production declines at mature fields, the company said. Petrobras currently has 58 production platforms in operation.
Petrobras’ business strategy aims to boost activities offshore in the prolific pre-salt formation, while divesting non-strategic assets across the refining, distribution, energy and natural gas sectors. The company continues to dissolve long-standing monopolies including in the gas sector while still eying participation in activities to boost gas production.
Gas set to ramp up in 2024
Gas volumes delivered to the Brazilian market by Rio de Janeiro-based Petrobras averaged 35 MMcm/d in the third quarter of 2022, up 3% compared to the prior quarter but down 13% compared to the previous-year quarter.
However, Petrobras’ total gas sales volumes, which include volumes from abroad, averaged 54 MMcm/d, down 4% compared to the prior quarter and down 39% compared to the previous-year quarter amid lower pipe-gas imports from Bolivia and lower LNG imports due to a much more favorable hydrological scenario in Brazil compared to severe drought conditions present in 2021.
Petrobras expects to significantly boost gas volumes delivered to the domestic market with completion of work related to the Route 3 Integrated Project. Petrobras recently rescinded a contract with SPE Kerui-Metodo, the company that was to build the natural gas processing unit (NGPU) of the Itaborai Gaslub Hub, and has commenced procurement procedures to finalize the remaining scope of the unit. Petrobras expects the NGPU to start gas processing operations at the complex sometime in 2024.
The NGPU will have a flow and processing capacity of 21 MMcm/d of Santo Basin pre-salt gas, which will be offloaded through the Route 3 gas pipeline, Petrobras said.
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