RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones)--Crude oil and natural gas output at Brazilian state-run energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR), or Petrobras, slipped slightly in March, the company said Thursday.
Petrobras said that overall daily oil and gas production reached an average of 2.556 million barrels of oil equivalent, or BOE, in March. That was down 0.2% from 2.561 million BOE a day in February.
In Brazil, Petrobras' domestic oil production rose 0.3% to an average of 1.994 million barrels a day in March. That was up from February's output of 1.988 million barrels a day.
March's overall production decline was largely attributed to a slide in domestic natural gas output. Petrobras has decreased natural gas production because of lower demand related to the post-financial crisis economic slowdown. Demand, especially from Brazil's industrial sector, has picked up in recent months.
Domestic natural gas output slipped to 66.7 million cubic meters a day in March, down from 68.1 million cubic meters a day in February.
International crude oil production also declined. Petrobras produced an average of 149,600 barrels of crude a day in March, down from 151,400 barrels a day in February.
Natural gas output at Petrobras' overseas facilities rose to 16.53 million cubic meters a day in March, up from 16.45 million cubic meters a day in February.
-By Jeff Fick, Dow Jones Newswires; 55-21-2586-6085; firstname.lastname@example.org