Brazil Offshore Safety Issues May Affect Petrobas Production
Reuters – Brazil 's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA could face new production stoppages on platforms in the Campos Basin if it does not resolve lingering safety issues, the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper reported on Sunday.
The company, best known as Petrobras, has improved safety standards in its offshore fields in the last two years but needs to improve "a lot"," a federal labor-law prosecutor, Mauricio Coentro, told the newspaper. If continuing problems are not resolved, platform shutdowns may be necessary, he added.
The paper said there have been eight accidents since November in the Campos Basin, located east and northeast of Rio de Janeiro, where Brazil gets 80 percent of its 2.11 million barrels per day of oil output. A union representing platform workers said there have been three serious accidents, two fires and an explosion, since December.
Petrobras output has stagnated for more than two years as new fields have been delayed, output from old fields has declined and the government has ordered platform shutdowns to perform emergency maintenance.
Further stoppages could limit production increases expected with the start-up of new platforms this year.
Most of the emergency maintenance was carried out in the Campos basin. Some platforms in the region are three decades old.
In November, 2013, Petrobras signed an adjustment of conduct agreement with labor prosecutors promising to improve safety problems and better maintain equipment such as gas-leak detection gear, Folha said.