(Adds details on oil and natural gas production)
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Brazil produced 1.018 billion barrels of oil in 2019, marking the first time the South American nation passed the billion-barrel mark for annual production, the national oil regulator said on Wednesday.
In a statement, the regulator, known as the ANP, said 2019 output increased 7.78% over the previous year. Brazil produced 3.106 million barrels per day of oil in December, up 0.52% from the previous month and up 15.44% from December 2018.
Brazil has been quickly ramping up its oil and natural gas production over the last year, as state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA and foreign competitors put more production online in a prolific seabed formation known as the pre-salt.
In 2019, total oil production in the pre-salt area reached 633.98 million barrels, ANP said, up 21.56% from 2018.
Total natural gas production reached 44.724 billion cubic meters, up 9.46% from 2018. In December, natural gas production rose 0.87% from the previous month and 21.19% from December 2018 to 137.8 million cubic meters per day. (Reporting by Gram Slattery Editing by Chris Reese and Tom Brown)