UPDATE 1-Petrobras to boost platform maintenance through June -sources
(Adds source comment, oil price economic background, recent outages)
By Rodrigo Viga Gaier
RIO DE JANEIRO, March 1 (Reuters) - Brazil's state-run oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, plans to increase oil platform maintenance shutdowns through June, taking advantage of low prices and low demand to fix and upgrade equipment, two sources told Reuters on Monday.
Production of oil and natural gas in Brazil by Petrobras, as the company is known, fell 7.1 percent in January from December, primarily because of maintenance.
"The planned outages will happen at units that produce a lot," said the first source, who has direct knowledge of Petrobras operations but is not authorized to speak to the press.
Petrobras did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"The strategy is linked to the economic situation," the source said, adding that the outages are occurring in the Campos and Santos basins. "It's the time push forward the outages."
Brazil's economy is shrinking at the fastest pace in decades, causing a decline in domestic demand for fuel.
Brent crude, a benchmark for world oil prices, has fallen nearly 40 percent in the last 12 months and reached a 12-year low in January, reflecting abundant supply and easing demand. Continuación...