Petrobras to reduce imports as refineries hit record volumes

12 August 2013 21:24  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Brazil’s Petrobras will reduce gasoline and diesel imports in the coming months as its refineries continue to hit record processing levels, the state-run oil company’s director of refining said on Monday.

“Gasoline and diesel imports will be below 200,000 bbl/day in the remaining quarters,” said Jose Carlos Cosenza in a conference call with investors.

Petrobras’s production of refined products reached an average 2.14m bbl/day in the second quarter, an increase of 6.5% compared with the prior-year quarter, while imports fell by 32% to 261,000 bbl/day.

The company’s refineries operated at 99% of capacity during the period, the company said, adding that a record processing volume of 2.20m bbl/day was registered on June 29 and 30.

“We are operating at very high levels, mainly due to the good use of these facilities,” Cosenza said.

The company said it would carry out planned maintenance at the 151,000 bbl/day Gabriel Passos refinery in Minas Gerais state in the third quarter and at the 252,000 Henrique Lage refinery in Sao Paulo state in the third and fourth quarters.

The company reported on Friday second quarter net earnings of Brazilian reais (R) 6.20bn ($2.71bn, €2.03bn), up from a net loss of R1.35bn in the prior-year quarter.

The reverse from the year-earlier loss – the first negative result in thirteen years – was a result of a currency hedge that narrowed financial losses, the company said.

The positive result also reflected higher prices for diesel and gasoline throughout the quarter, a reduction in operating costs and gains from overseas divestments – the largest of which was the sale of 50% of the company’s assets in Africa for $1.5bn, Petrobras said.

Revenues increase by 8% to R73.63bn from R68.05bn a year earlier, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) stood at R18.09bn, up from R10.60bn.

($1 = €0.75, $1 = R2.29)

By: Simon West

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