May 2, 2017 / 3:28 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil March oil output jumps 12.6 pct to 2.55 mln bpd - ANP

(Adds details on production, gas output numbers)

SAO PAULO, May 2 (Reuters) - Brazil produced 2.55 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil on average in March, 12.6 percent more than in March 2016, the country’s oil and gas watchdog ANP said on Tuesday.

Natural gas production rose 12.2 percent year on year to 101.3 million cubic meters in March.

Oil and gas production fell, however, for the third month in a row since hitting a record high 2.73 million bpd in December.

ANP did not give a reason for the consecutive monthly falls. But state-run oil company Petrobras, whose fields account for 95 percent of Brazil’s production, has said scheduled maintenance on some rigs was behind the recent fall.

March oil production was similar to levels last seen in June 2016.

The pre-salt Lula field is by far Brazil’s biggest producing area, ANP said, accounting for 638,000 bpd in March.

Ultra-deep pre-salt fields, which have been developed in recent years, now account for half Brazil’s oil and gas output. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and James Dalgleish)

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