RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Brazil’s state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said on Monday that output in December rose 12.3 percent from a year earlier to a monthly record, although it missed its annual production growth target.
Petrobras produced 2.86 million barrels a day of oil and equivalent natural gas a day (boepd) in Brazil and abroad in December after putting 57 new oil production wells into service over the last 12 months.
Many of the wells were connected to offshore floating production ships that finally came on stream, over budget and years behind schedule. Until this year, production had been stagnant or falling for five years.
Many of the production ships may have also had their costs inflated by a price-fixing and political-bribery and kickback scandal that has stalled many expansion programs under the company’s $221 billion five-year investment plan, one of the world’s largest corporate spending programs.
December output was 4.44 percent more than in November and the company finished the year with an average daily output of 2.65 million boepd, a company record. Average 2014 daily output was 4.4 percent more than the 2013 average.
Despite the increase, Petrobras failed to meet its output target for the year, which was to boost output between 6.5 percent and 8.5 percent in 2014.
The annual average, while the highest in company history, was also only 1.19 percent more than the previous record of 2.62 million boepd in 2011 and nearly 50 percent below the 3.91 million boepd the company predicted in 2010 that it would produce by the end of 2014. (Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Grant McCool)