UPDATE 2-Petrobras setbacks threaten 2014 oil production targets
* Petrobras loses 2.3 km pipe in offshore accident
* Sets back work in Brazil's No. 2 oilfield by about a month
* Platform delays put needed output expansion at risk (Adds comment from source close to project paragraphs 8,9)
By Jeb Blount
RIO DE JANEIRO, April 4 (Reuters) - Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA suffered a setback in its effort to boost oil output last month when Italian contractor Saipem SpA dropped a 2.3 km steel pipe into the Atlantic Ocean.
On March 16, rigging failed as it was being used to wrangle the pipe into position on a floating oil platform. The high-grade, metal-alloy tubes plunged about 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) to the seabed, a total, crumpled loss.
The pipe itself was worth about $2 million, but the cost of the accident will be much higher, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters.
By setting back efforts to expand Roncador, Brazil's No. 2 oilfield, by at least a month, Petrobras will lose tens of millions of dollars in oil output, salaries and equipment leases when it can least afford it.
The accident was the latest in a series of setbacks as Petrobras has struggled to transform giant new offshore discoveries into increased output, despite a $221 billion five-year investment plan. Continuación...