(Adds details on production)
RIO DE JANEIRO, July 31 (Reuters) - Brazil oil production rose 0.8 percent in June from May to an average of 2.675 million barrels per day, as output from pre-salt offshore wells surpassed the combined volumes from all other fields in the country for the first time.
The production from the pre-salt oil areas jumped to 1.353 million barrels per day on average in June, growing 6.4 percent from May, according to Brazil’s oil sector watchdog ANP.
Discovered only 10 years ago, this production area has rapidly become the top priority for Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras and other oil majors holding exploration rights to some of its large reserves.
The pre-salt field known as Lula, which holds per-well production rates higher than the industry average at around 25,000 barrels per unit, reached production of 763,000 barrels per day on average in June.
Lula is the largest pre-salt producing field in Brazil, operated by Petrobras (65 pct) in a consortium including Royal Dutch Shell Plc (25 pct) and Petróleos de Portugal SA (10 pct).
Petrobras accounted for 2.07 million bpd on average of oil production in Brazil in June, with Shell in second place among large producers with 314,000 bpd. Repsol Sinopec was the third largest producer with 81,000 bpd.
ANP also said on Monday that natural gas production reached 111 million cubic meters per day last month, 6.1 percent above May’s figures.
Reporting by Marta Nogueira and Alexandra Alper; Additional reporting and writing by Marcelo Teixeira, in Sao Paulo; Editing by Bernard Orr