UPDATE 2-Brazil's Petrobras cuts spending as quarterly profit falls 19 pct
* 2014-2018 spending plan down 6.8 pct from previous to $221 bln
* New strategic plan sees output peaking in 2020 at 5.2 mln bpd
* Q4 profit drops to 6.28 bln reais, but beats analyst estimates (Adds additional results and background)
By Jeb Blount
RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras moved to check years of missed targets, soaring costs and rising debt by scaling back near-term investments and setting a limit on long-term growth.
Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as Petrobras is formally known, cut its five-year investment outlook for the 2014-2018 period to $221 billion, 6.8 percent less than its previous 2013-2017 plan, after reporting a 19 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit late on Tuesday.
The company said production would still more than double to 5.2 million barrels of oil and natural gas a day (bpd) in 2020, and then plateau at that level for the next decade, according to a new strategic plan ending in 2030.
Of the 2020-2030 production, Petrobras expects to own 4 million bpd of the output, the rest will belong to partners and the Brazilian government. The 2030 outlook is a sign that Petrobras considers its days of major production increases based on recent offshore discoveries to be numbered.
After two years of stagnant output, Petrobras needs rising production to justify what was the world's largest corporate spending program as well as to pay large debts that will have to rise more to meet new offshore oil exploration commitments. Continuación...