Brazil's disappointing performance in liquids production continued, with October's output totalling 2.099 mb/d, lower y/y by 92 thousand b/d, despite the start-up of the FPSO at the Baleia Azul field in September and a new platform starting production from the Whales Park subsalt field. Although Petrobras output rose to a four month high, crude and NGL output has now remained lower y/y for seven straight months, the longest series of decline this decade. In the year-to-date, Brazilian crude and NGL output is running lower y/y by 29 thousand b/d, with the country heading for its first annual decline since 2004. Overall, Petrobras continues to grapple with high decline rates at the Campos Basin, cost overruns (with lifting costs at a record high of $15.42/barrel) and project delays. In fact, an FPSO scheduled to start in October at the Bauna and Piracaba fields has now been pushed back to early next year following fire damage. Although two large fields totalling 240 thousand b/d are scheduled to come online next year, a large number of platforms are also set to undergo maintenance in 2013, which is likely to cap Brazil's output levels. Biofuel production increased by 60 thousand b/d y/y, but total oil production still remained lower y/y by 33 thousand b/d in October.
Meanwhile, Brazilian oil demand recovered strongly in October, following a flat September, rising to a record high of 2.399 mb/d, higher y/y by 264 thousand b/d (12.4%). The slight fall in diesel demand in September was a one-off, with October demand rising by 119 thousand b/d (12.6%) to a record high of 1.063 mb/d. Gasoline demand was up strongly too, by 111 thousand b/d (18.2%) to a record 722 thousand b/d.