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Brazil crude, gas output holds steady in April despite pandemic

June 03/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazil's crude oil and natural gas production remained stable in April as the global coronavirus pandemic had a limited impact on output in Latin America's biggest producer, according to data released by the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) June 2, said S&P Global.

Companies operating in Brazil pumped 3.738 million b/d of oil equivalent in April, little changed from 3.739 million boe/d in March, the ANP said. April's total hydrocarbons output, however, advanced 12.8% from 3.314 million boe/d in April 2019, the ANP said.

Brazil's oil industry has emerged from the global outbreak relatively unscathed, with production temporarily halted at two offshore floating production units operated by state-led Petrobras until the ships were disinfected. Dommo Energia also suffered an outbreak onboard the FPSO OSX-3 in May, but reported no impact on output in a production report released June 1.

The Mines and Energy Ministry said June 1 it registered a total of 378 confirmed coronavirus cases, 842 suspected cases and 12 deaths in Brazil's energy industry, which includes Petrobras and other state entities.

In addition, Brazil has benefited from the gradual restart of economic activity in China, which is the country's biggest trade partner and a key buyer of crude, iron ore and soy products. Petrobras ramped up exports of crude and refined products when domestic demand cratered because of social distancing measures were implemented in mid-March, with about 60% of the company's record crude and bunker fuel exports headed for China.

Brazilian crude grades naturally contain less than 0.5% sulfur content, which makes them ideal for processing into bunker fuel under the International Maritime Organization's 2020 mandate. The mandate, which went into effect January 1, increased demand for Brazilian grades and supported prices for the crude despite recent volatility, according to industry officials.

The better-than-expected international demand forced Petrobras to walk back 200,000 b/d worth of production cuts announced in late March, with Petrobras targeting production of 2.26 million b/d in April. rather than 2.07 million b/d.

The country's overall crude output, however, retreated slightly month on month in April, the ANP data showed. Brazil pumped 2.958 million b/d in April, down 0.5% from 2.973 million b/d in March, the ANP said. April's output, however, was up 13.6% from 2.604 million b/d in April 2019, the ANP data showed.

The year-on-year production growth was driven by the continued ramp up of several new floating production units installed at subsalt fields over the past two years, including a fleet of four vessels that were installed at the Buzios Field starting in mid-2018. Output, however, is expected to drift lower in the second half of 2020 amid Petrobras' plan to carry out a wide-ranging maintenance program at subsalt fields.

As MRC informed earlier, Brasil's sole PP and PE producer, Braskem selects Charleston as new Global Export Hub location. Polyolefins and biopolymers producer Braskem has announced plans for a new Global Export Hub facility in Charleston, South Carolina, US.

The new Global Export Hub facility will be used for activities such as packaging, warehousing and export shipping services. Specifically, it will support the companys US polypropylene (PP) production facilities.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 383,760 tonnes in the first two month of 2020, up by 14% year on year. High density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments increased due to the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 192,760 tonnes in January-February 2020, down by 6% year on year. Homopolymer PP accounted for the main decrease in imports.

Braskem S.A. produces petrochemicals and generates electricity. The Company produces ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, xylenes, butadiene, butene, isoprene, dicyclopentediene, MTBE, caprolactam, ammonium sulfate, cyclohexene, polyethylene theraphtalat, polyethylene, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, crude oil, PP, PE, Braskem, Brazil.
Category:General News
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