Shell’s Oil Output in Brazil Plummets 35% in December

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s oil production in Brazil, South America’s largest economy, dropped 35 percent in December from a year earlier.

Shell’s output dropped to 48,499 barrels per day in December from 74,753 barrels a day in the same month of 2011, according to monthly data published today by Brazil’s oil regulator, known as ANP. Shell dropped to third place among crude producers in Brazil in July, after being overtaken by Statoil ASA. State-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, is the largest producer.

Petrobras accounts for 94 percent of Brazil’s oil and operates 18 of the country’s 20 largest oil and gas fields. The other two are Statoil’s Peregrino and Shell’s Ostra, both of which are offshore. Ostra produced 28,000 barrels of oil per day in December, compared with 48,000 barrels per day a year earlier.

Brazil is one of the regions where Shell is seeking to expand its offshore presence, together with the Persian Gulf and Southeast Asia, Chief Financial Officer Simon P. Henry said in a Jan. 31 conference call with analysts.

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