Petrobras oil output in Brazil falls 3.9 pct in March

SAO PAULO, April 27 Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:37am EDT

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SAO PAULO, April 27 (Reuters) - Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petrobras said on Saturday that domestic production fell 3.9 percent in March from February to 1.85 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, dropping for the 10th consecutive month.

Falling output triggered a 17 percent decline in first-quarter profit, Petrobras reported on Friday. The company, listed as Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras SA, has wrestled for years to expand output as the quality of its aging fields declines.

Petrobras said the main cause of weak March output was planned maintenance work on its P-9, PCE-1, P-54 and FPSO Espirito Santo platforms in the Campos Basin. The decline was partially offset by greater output from the FPSO Cidade de Itajai and FPSO Cidade de Anchieta.

Brazilian oil and gas production has suffered in the past year due to declining output from mature fields and the closing of aging oil platforms for maintenance.

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