Perennial favourite Petrobras (NYSE: PBR), has announced that in March of this year, it surpassed February’s output record by 52,00 bpd. Last month, the Brazilian oil giant produced a record 1.99 million bpd from its domestic holdings. The increase has been attributed to a number of new wells in the offshore Campos Basin being brought into commercial production. Petrobras has also reported domestic production of combined oil & gas for March reached 2.3 million bpd of oil equivalent, a 9.5% month on month icrease, adding in international operations, brings an enviable 2.5 million bpd production average for the month of March.
Following up on Petrobras’ unveiling of its $174 Bn, five year investment plan, this can only be good news for investors, as the company has based its 2009-2013 plan on Brent crude running at $42 a barrel, with financing needs for 2009 based on Brent averaging at $37 a barrel. With Brent crude trading at $50.46, depressed fears over swine fever, a fair cushion is in place.
On May 1st, President Lula will officially open Petrobras’ new Tupi operations. Tupi,which is located in the pre-salt region and is estimated to contain between 5 billion and 7 billion barrels of crude, will initially pump 15,000 bpd through a test phase, finally ramping up to 100,000 bpd in 2010. The pre-salt region covers an offshore area 800 kilometers long and 200 kilometers wide between the states of Espirito Santo and Santa Catarina, and is estimated to contain up to 80 billion barrels of light crude under a thick layer of salt far beneath the ocean floor.
As we previously discussed, the planned $175 Bn investment is also good news for companies supplying the oil business, with offshore oil development vessels likely to be in high demand.
“In the next five to six years, we are looking for 240 different vessels… drillships, storage units, supply vessels, transportation vessels and others,” Petrobras CFO Almir Barbassa told reporters at recent a seminar held in Seoul. “Petrobras will soon issue tenders for eight floating product storage and offloading units and seven drill ships”
Trading off a 52 week low of just $14.73, Petrobras is currently trading in the $32-$34 range (5 day spread) & the ADR has grown by 37% in the last three months of trading.