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Brazil's Petrobras losing its luster, analysts say

Feb. 4, 2014 at 6:57 AM

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Brazilian energy company Petroleo Brasileiro, known also as Petrobras, is having a difficult time maintaining its past performance levels, analysts said.

Petrobras is losing money and its production levels have declined from its world-leading position in offshore oil production, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Last month, the company said it submitted declarations of the commercial potential of the Franco and Sul de Tupi prospects in the energy-rich Santos basin to the National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency. Operations there won't begin until 2017.

Several major discoveries off the Brazilian coast were made beneath a thick layer of salt in the Santos basin. The Journal said reserves there might not be enough to offset declines from production elsewhere in the country.

Oliver Leyland, a fund manager at Mirae Asset Global Investments in New York, told the newspaper the Brazilian energy company is "pedaling quite hard to stand still." Rogerio Freitas, a manager at Brazil's Teorica Investimentos, said the company is "poorly managed."

The Journal reported the value of Petrobras has declined more than 20 percent in the last year.

The newspaper said Petrobras declined to comment on its analysis.

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