Just one day after Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that "God is Brazilian," following the discovery of massive new oil reserves offshore, state-controlled oil multinational Petrobras reported that the Brazil's domestic oil output fell 2.3% in October from September in its fourth straight monthly drop totaling a steep 5% below year-ago levels.
Petrobras, which accounts for nearly all crude production and refining in Brazil, said Wednesday that it pumped an average of 1.73 million barrels per day last month, below last year's average of 1.78 million bpd.
The Brazilian oil company explained that it had programmed stoppages at the Garoupa and Corvina fields and had to halt a 60,000 bpd rig at the Albacora field to repair a riser pipeline. But output has since resumed at the three fields.
Petrobras expects the production drop to be reversed soon after two rigs on the light oil fields of Piranema and Golfinho started working in October and November, while two big platforms are due for start-up on the heavy oil Roncador field before the end of the year.
Petrobras expects an average annual output growth of over 7% through 2012. Natural gas production in Brazil edged up 0.7 percent in October from September to 42.6 million cubic meters per day.
The company's international oil output fell 3.4% to 124,175 bpd due to lower production in Venezuela and Argentina. Natural gas production abroad fell 3% to 18.6 million cubic meters per day. Overseas Petrobras produces crude and natural gas in Argentina, Angola, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, United States and Venezuela
Brazil's government and the state-run oil company Petrobras announced two weeks ago that exploration of its Tupi offshore field showed it had enough to increase national oil reserves by 50%. A new discovery nearby still being explored also appeared to contain enough petroleum to propel Brazil among the top 10 oil producers in the world, they said.
"This discovery… proves that God is Brazilian" said Lula da Silva during a speech at his presidential palace in Brasília. His theological assertion is not original: Brazilians have long claimed that God shares their nationality on the basis of the natural resources at their disposal.
The British magazine The Economist also already made reference to that saying in its take on the oil find in an article last week titled "God may indeed be Brazilian after all."
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