RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian state oil company Petrobras on Thursday reported a third-quarter loss of 16.46 billion reais ($5.05 billion), upending analysts’ forecasts that the South American nation’s largest enterprise would show a profit.
Asset write-downs accounted for the lion’s share of the red ink.
The write-downs were based on reviews of “projects in the investment portfolio” and of “the set of premises, such as the price of Brent (crude) and the long-term exchange rate,” Petrobras said.
The company also pointed to factors such as a further decline in global oil prices, the 12 percent rise in the value of the real, and unexpected costs associated with an employee-buyout initiative.
Petrobras has been struggling for the last two years with the crash in oil prices and the fallout from a corruption scandal estimated to have cost the company as much as $2 billion.
“All of the company’s operational results, including the production of oil and derivatives, improved in the year,” CFO Ivan Monteiro said, insisting that the third-quarter results were due entirely to write-downs.
Output rose 2 percent in the third quarter to 2.87 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, while exports climbed 9 percent to 562,000 bpd.