By Jeb Blount
BRASILIA, Jan 14 Brazil's state-run oil company
Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, said on Tuesday
its proven reserves rose 1.9 percent in 2013 as asset sales and
the natural decline of older areas limited the impact of reserve
additions from new fields in Brazil.
Petrobras had 13.1 billion barrels of proven oil and
equivalent natural gas (boe) at the end of the year compared
with 12.9 billion barrels a year earlier, the Rio de
Janeiro-based company said in a statement.
The figure is based on U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission, or SEC, standards for the accounting of oil and
natural gas. Reserves are equal to about 18 years of current
Petrobras reserves have grown slowly in recent years despite
more than a decade of increased spending and a plan to spend
$237 billion through the end of 2017, most of it on new crude
oil exploration and production. The corporate investment program
is the world's largest and has allocated an average $47.4
billion of spending a year.
"The numbers are another in a series of disappointing
reserve announcements," said Cleveland Jones, a professor of
geology at the Brazilian Petroleum Institute at the Rio de
Janeiro-State University. "Going forward though, we are likely
to see somewhat better results.
Petrobras' former Chief Executive Officer Jose Sergio
Gabrielli, who gave up his job in 2011 to current CEO Maria das
Graças Foster, had predicted the company would have about 30
billion barrels of reserves by now thanks to giant offshore
discoveries south of Rio de Janeiro.
Under the less rigid standards of the Society of Petroleum
Engineers, or SPE, the company's proven reserves rose 0.8
percent to 16.5 billion barrels of oil and equivalent natural
gas in 2013.
The SEC proven reserve standards are stricter than the SPE
standards with regard to the company's ability to profitably
produce the oil that is discovered.
Table with Petrobras proven reserves:
PETROBRAS (SEC standards) 2013
Oil and Condensate (bln barrels) 11.032
Natural Gas (bln cubic meters) 334.691
Oil equivalent (bln boe) 13.123