UPDATE 1-Petrobras 2014 oil, gas reserves grow slowest in 6 years

martes 13 de enero de 2015 21:06 GYT

(Adds additional reserve information, comparisons with recent years, SPE standard reserve figures, background)

By Jeb Blount

RIO DE JANEIRO Jan 13 (Reuters) - Oil and natural gas reserves at Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA rose at the slowest pace in six years in 2014, ending the year little changed as new discoveries barely kept up with production.

The company had 13.13 billion barrels of proven reserves of oil and equivalent natural gas (boe) as of Dec. 31, using criteria set down by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said Petrobras, as the company is commonly known, in a statement on Tuesday.

That is an increase of only 0.1 percent over 2013. In 2014 reserves grew at their slowest since 2008, when they fell 4.39 percent. Growth in 2014 was also well below the 2.3 percent average annual growth rate for the past 14 years.

The sluggish growth is the latest in a series of failures by company executives and its main shareholder, the Brazilian government, to deliver on promises about the benefits that will flow from giant offshore oil resources discovered starting in 2006.

In 2011, then-Chief Executive Jose Sergio Gabrielli said Petrobras would end 2013 with about 30 billion barrels of proven reserves, more than double the amount then, and enough to put it near the world's top 10 oil companies by reserves.

Petrobras has spent more than most companies in the industry. Under its 2013-2017 investment plan the company is committed to spending $221 billion, or $44.2 billion a year, one of the world's largest corporate investment programs.

But as spending has soared, production has lagged expectations. Petrobras has missed output targets every year for more than a decade, helping make it the world's most indebted and least profitable major oil company.   Continuación...