Oil flows at record levels

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EIU/ Infoestrategic

Brazil pumped a record 1.7 million barrels of oil a day in April and should reach self-sufficiency within a year, the government oil company Petrobras said Thursday.

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Brazil consumes some 1.85 million barrels of oil daily and imports about one-tenth of the total -- mostly light crude from Venezuela, Argentina and the Middle East.

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Brazil's oil output in April was 16.5 percent higher than a year ago, Petrobras said.

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The previous monthly record was 1.6 million barrels a day in February of 2003.

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"Maintaining this level, the company takes a decisive step toward guaranteeing self-sufficiency by the end of 2005 or the beginning of 2006," Petrobras said in a statement.

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The increase was led by the P-43 offshore rig in the Barracuda field, which reached peak production of 150,000 barrels a day just four months after it started operation, the company said.

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The nearby P-48 rig is expected to triple its current output of 50,000 barrels a day in a few months, Petrobras said.

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About 82 percent of Brazil's oil comes from offshore fields in the Campos Basin, on the southeast Atlantic coast near Rio.

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SOURCE: EIU/ INFO-e

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