By Jeffrey T. Lewis
SAO PAULO--Brazilian oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, said Thursday it will cut production by 100,000 barrels per day by the end of March as part of its response to the impact on demand of the spread of the new coronavirus.
The Rio de Janeiro-based company said it will continue to evaluate market conditions and make more adjustments to production as needed.
"Petrobras is continuously monitoring the internal and external markets, as well as managing inventories and oil refining at its refineries, in line with the variations in market demands," the company said in a note.
Petrobras has spent the past decade ramping up production from its rich new offshore fields, while shutting down or selling off older, less productive fields. The company hit record production of 3.025 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in the fourth quarter.
Its production target for this year was 2.7 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, with a variation of 2.5% in either direction depending on market conditions.
The company has announced other measures to help it adapt to the coronavirus crisis, including shutting down higher-cost platforms in shallow water, postponing a dividend payment announced in February, reducing or postponing 2.4 billion reais ($475 million) of spending on human resources and cutting investment this year to $8.5 billion from $12 billion.
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