In July, the oil and natural gas output that we operate in the pre-salt layer was up 6 percent over the previous month and set a new monthly record, closing at 1.32 million boed.
This result is mainly due to the entry into operation, on July 8, of the Central Lula production system, by means of FPSO Cidade de Saquarema, and to the increased production of new wells connected to FPSOs Cidade de Maricá and Cidade de Itaguaí, also installed in the Lula field.
We announced our results for the second quarter and the first half of this year. Our net income reached R$370 million between April and June. In the first quarter, the company had posted a loss of R$1.2 billion. Contributing positively to this result was the 30 percent reduction in net financial expenses, the 7 percent growth in total oil and natural gas output, the 14 percent increase in oil and oil product exports, and lower costs with natural gas imports. On the other hand, expenses of the new Voluntary Termination Incentive Program (VTIP) and the impairment of Comperj had a negative impact on results.
We hereby announce the sale, for $2.5 billion, of 66 percent of the stake in exploratory block BM-S-8, where the area of Caracara is located in the pre-salt Santos Basin, to the Norwegian state-owned oil company Statoil. Our Finance and Investor Relations Officer, Ivan Monteiro, and Exploration and Production Officer, Solange Guedes, explained that the operation is based on our portfolio management strategy, which aims to prioritize assets that allow us to maintain equipment standardization to reduce investment costs while seeking assets that generate revenue in the short term in order to improve the profile of our debt. They also stressed the importance of the operation to achieve the partnership and divestment goal set at $15.1 billion for the 2015-2016 period.
We have completed the sale of our entire 67.19 percent interest in Petrobras Argentina (PESA), owned via Petrobras Participaciones S.L. (PPSL), to Pampa Energía.
The operation was completed with the payment of $897 million by Pampa, made on Wednesday (07/27), after all conditions precedent stipulated in the contract signed on 05/13/2016 were fulfilled.
Our total oil and gas output in June was 2.90 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed), a monthly record. We surpassed the milestone of 2.88 million boed reached in August 2015. This June’s amount was 2 percent higher than the volume produced in May (2.83 million boe), 2.70 million boed of which was produced in Brazil, while 200,000 boed abroad.
The Libra Consortium has completed the drilling and evaluation of the seventh well in the block, located in the Santos Basin pre-salt cluster. With it, the Consortium found the largest oil column (net pay) ever discovered in Libra, measuring 410 meters thick. This column surpasses the last one found, which came in at 301 meters and was announced last March.
The new well, located in the northwestern part of the block and 180 km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, confirmed the good quality oil discovery (27º API) in reservoirs with excellent productivity.
The oil output we operate in the Brazilian pre-salt set a new record last May 8, when it surpassed 1 million barrels per day (bpd). Of this total, we are responsible for over 70% of the produced volume. Thus, the pre-salt fields located in the Santos and Campos basin already account for about 40 percent of our oil output operated in Brazil.
This result was reached less than ten years after these deposits were discovered, in 2006. And in fewer than two years after reaching the 500,000-barrel-per-day mark, in July 2014. This proves not only the technical and economic feasibility of the pre-salt, but also its high level of productivity. In comparative terms, we reached the output of the first million barrels of oil per day in 1998, 45 years after we were established.
The current record was set with the contribution of only 52 producing wells, which proves the excellent return on investment in the pre-salt. It should be emphasized that the first million barrels the company produced per day, in 1998, was attained with the contribution of more than 8,000 producing wells.
Engineer Pedro Parente, who took over as CEO, said his priority is our economic and financial recovery. He highlighted three pillars that must guide our management: Governance to restore credibility; economic and financial responsibility, and risk management.
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Petrobras posted losses of R$1.2 billion in 1Q16, mainly due to:
• higher interest costs, and negative monetary and exchange rate variations;
• 7% reduction in oil and natural gas production (in Brazil and abroad);
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Petrobras has signed a term sheet with China Exim Bank (Export-Import Bank of China) containing the main terms and conditions for a US$1 billion loan. The final loan agreement is already being negotiated, anticipating the funding planned for 2017.