* Chevron could restart field this week -Formigli
* Petrobras owns 30 pct of Frade Field, Chevron 52 pct
* Output at Petrobras expected to rise in 2nd half
RIO DE JANEIRO, April 29 Renewed oil output at
Chevron Corp's Frade Field in Brazil should boost
production at partner Petrobras by as much as 5,000
barrels a day, helping limit declining flows at the state-run
company because of maintenance, Petrobras officials said on
Chevron is in talks with Brazilian officials to restart
output at the offshore field after a November 2011 oil spill and
subsequent leaks led the company to stop all output in the area
in March 2012. Frade was producing about 60,000 barrels a day at
the time of the closure.
Output at Frade could begin as early as this week, said Jose
Formigli, head of exploration and production at Petroleo
Brasileiro SA, as Petrobras is formally known. Formigli spoke on
Monday at events with investors and journalists to explain the
company's first-quarter results, announced late Friday.
On April 8, Brazil's petroleum regulator, the ANP, gave
Chevron approval to restart output on a limited basis and
without water or gas injection to increase production volumes.
Chevron is the field's operator and owns 52 percent of the
The ANP said Frade would likely produce about 20,000 barrels
of oil a day under the rules. Petrobras, which owns 30 percent
of the Frade field's output, expects an initial share of output
of between 4,500 to 5,000 barrels a day, Formigli said.
This suggests total production from the field is likely to
be about 16,700 barrels a day, or about 17 percent lower than
the 20,000 boepd ANP estimate.
The remaining 18 percent of Frade output is owned by Frade
Japão, a joint venture between Japanese trading houses Sojitz
Corp and Inpex Corp.
Petrobras is seeking to increase output at a time when
maintenance and declining production from its most important
fields is crimping financial results.
First-quarter profit fell 17 percent in the first quarter
from a year earlier, Petrobras said on Friday, blaming a decline
in output, rising imports and fuel subsidies.
During the calls with investors and reporters on Monday,
Petrobras also said that it expects oil output to remain steady
through the middle of the year. By then, completed maintenance
and the arrival of new production ships should start boosting
Production by the company of oil and natural gas in Brazil
and abroad fell 4.38 percent to 2.49 million barrels a day in
March, the second lowest monthly average in five years.
Petrobras expects to import 260,000 barrels of diesel fuel
and gasoline a day through the end of the year, said Jose Carlos
Cosenza, Petrobras' head of the refining and supply division.
Of that about 180,000 barrels a day, or 69 percent, will be