Brazil oil output falls in March for second month

RIO DE JANEIRO Tue May 8, 2012 11:12pm BST

An employee works on a computer on the P-51 oil rig of Brazilian oil giant Petrobras at Angra dos reis in Rio de Janeiro August 21, 2008. REUTERS/Bruno Domingos

An employee works on a computer on the P-51 oil rig of Brazilian oil giant Petrobras at Angra dos reis in Rio de Janeiro August 21, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Bruno Domingos

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RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian output of oil and natural gas fell 5 percent in March from February, the second straight month-on-month decline and the lowest monthly average in seven months, Brazil's oil regulator, the ANP, said in a statement.

Declines came as state-led oil company Petrobras (PETR4.SA) shut platforms for maintenance and Chevron and its partners stopped output in the Frade field to explore the source of oil leaks.

Brazil produced an average of 2.50 million barrels of oil and natural gas equivalent in March, the lowest level since August, compared with 2.63 million boe a day in February, the ANP said. Production in March was 1.3 percent higher than a year earlier.

Petrobras remained the largest producer, with output of 2.28 million boe a day or 91 percent of average daily Brazilian output in March. The output figures do not include oil owned by Petrobras' minority partners in fields that Petrobras operates.

The number two producer was Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (RDSa.L) with 41,300 boe a day. Norway's Statoil produced 31,990 boe a day.

OGX Petroleo e Gas (OGXP3.SA), Brazil's No. 2 oil company by market value, moved up one spot to No. 8 in its second month of active oil production. Rio de Janeiro based OGX produced an average 10,402 boe a day.

(Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by David Gregorio)

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