UPDATE 1-Brazil oil regulator asks Petrobras to ramp up output

Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:37am EST

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* New targets could be reflected in next business plan
    * Petrobras production has fallen for past six months


    SAO PAULO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Brazil's ANP oil regulator
asked state-led Petrobras to increase production at
one of its largest fields, increasing costs for the firm that
already has the world's largest corporate spending program, ANP
board meeting minutes showed. 
    Petrobras said in a statement published online on Friday
that it has not been officially notified of the request from the
ANP to make additional investments at its Roncador field. 
    Roncador, one of Brazil's biggest producing fields in the
Campos Basin, is among the older fields that have been
responsible in the past six months for falling petroleum output
from Petrobras, which provides for some 90 percent of Brazil's
oil needs.
    As output falls at established fields, the oil giant has
focused on developing more promising prospects in the so-called
subsalt area along Brazil's coast near Rio de Janeiro, home to
one of the world's largest oil finds in recent years.
    Petrobras may have to include revised production targets for
Roncador in its next business plan mid-way through this year,
two sources linked to ANP told Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper on
Friday. The ANP will analyze development plans for 11 fields,
including Roncador, that are run by Petrobras, according to the
paper.
    Minutes from a Jan. 7 ANP board meeting showed the 
regulator approved a revised development plan for Roncador
calling for new wells and platforms so that Petrobras can
extract more oil from the field.
    The Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper estimated the investments
could cost some 1 billion reais ($490,000).
    All oil firms operating in Brazil must have their projects
approved by the regulator, which can ask them to adjust
production targets.
    Petrobras has committed to spending $237 billion over five
years to help meet its goal of more than doubling output to
about 5.7 million barrels a day in 2020.
    Petrobras preferred shares, the company's most-traded class
of stock, gained 0.41 percent to 19.8 reais.
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