Rio de Janeiro, January 13, 2005 - PETRÓLEO BRASILEIRO S/A - PETROBRAS, [Bovespa: PETR3/PETR4, NYSE: PBR/PBRA, Latibex: XPBR/XPBRA], a Brazilian international energy company informs that during 2004 its total average production of oil and liquid natural gas (LNG), and natural gas in Brazil and overseas was 2,020.4 thousand barrels of oil equivalent/day (boed), representing a slight decline of 0.8% compared with 2,036.5 thousand boed in 2003.
The average annual domestic output of oil and LNG was 1,492.6 thousand barrels per day (bpd) against 1,540.1 thousand bpd in 2003. The principal factors behind this reduction were contractual delays in the delivery of the P-43, P-48 and P-50 platforms to the new Barracuda, Caratinga and Albacora Leste fields and problems experienced in the Marlim Sul field, both of which translated into the Company being unable to offset the natural decline in production from the Marlim field. In December, the start-up of platform P-43 in the Barracuda field has already ensured a substantial increase in output to 1,527.9 thousand bpd, 2.3% above the annual average. The Company also wishes to point out that in 2004, the average production at the more mature onshore fields stabilized at 250.5 thousand bpd, a slight increase compared with 2003, when an output of 248.4 thousand bpd was recorded.
By contrast, average Brazilian natural gas output in 2004 was 42,146.2 thousand cubic meters daily (m³d), an increase of 5.8% over production in 2003 of 39,827.3 thousand m³d.
This increase reflects the growth in the domestic market for natural gas, among the Companys strategic objectives, and the larger production of non-associated natural gas in the northern region of the country.
Petrobras average international production of oil and LNG grew from 160.9 thousand bpd in 2003 to 168.5 thousand bpd, principally
thanks to the normalization of Venezuelan
output. The average international production of natural gas grew still more significantly to 15,995.8 thousand m³d in 2004 from 14,443.4 thousand m³d in 2003, once again reflecting the domestic increase in demand for natural gas, in turn boosting production in Bolivia. In this context, the Company also began natural gas production in the Coulumb North field in the Gulf of Mexico.
Production increases in Brazil are expected for early 2005 as the start up of operations at the P-48 platform in the first
quarter, accelerated output from P-43, each one with an
installed production capacity of 150 thousand bpd, in the second half of 2005 the start up
of the P-50 platform (Albacora Leste field), with a 180 thousand bpd capacity, the recovery in production at the Marlim Sul field and, late in 2005, the start-up of platform P-34 in the Jubarte field, with a production capacity of 60 thousand bpd, will all be instrumental in the resumption in growth of the Companys total oil, LNG and natural gas output in Brazil and overseas. Together, these additional production facilities are important steps towards achieving Petrobras strategic target of 3.4 million boed by 2010.