Company achieved operational records and the sixth highest quarterly EBITDA in its historyPetrobras Agency
Recurring adjusted EBITDA, a key indicator of the company's operating performance, grew by 15% in the period compared to the 2nd quarter of 2023. This growth can be attributed primarily to an 11% increase in the price of oil (Brent), elevated oil exports and sales of oil products in the domestic market with reduced imports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
Despite the operating gains, net profit in 3Q23 was primarily affected by the devaluation of the real against the dollar, which is why a reduction of 6% was observed compared to 2Q23. When compared to the 3rd quarter of 2022, net profit experienced a decline of 37%, a decrease that can be attributed to the decline in Brent and also by the reduction in margins on derivatives in the international market, known as crackspreads. It is important to highlight that these variables affected not only Petrobras, but the oil, gas and derivatives industry as a whole. Nevertheless, Petrobras' operating cash flow (OCF) is above the average for global oil companies (majors).
Last year's performance reflected an atypical scenario characterized by elevated Brent prices, which resulted in record financial results for oil companies. In comparison with the first nine months of 2022, Petrobras demonstrates lower operating and free cash flow losses compared to peer companies. While the industry's majors reported an average reduction of 28% in FCO and 43% in FCL in 9M23 compared to 9M22*, Petrobras reported a drop of just 14% and 25% respectively (data in USD). The company's operational performance helped to mitigate losses due to the fall in Brent. In 9M23, Petrobras' commercial oil and gas production saw an increase of 1%, while the majors saw, on average, a 3% decrease in production.
The President of Petrobras, Jean Paul Prates, is proud of the results: “We are working towards Petrobras’ sustainable and profitable growth. We had an excellent 3rd quarter with operational records in E&P, refining and gas processing. We are moving on with our commercial strategy for fuels, which has proven to be successful, which makes Petrobras more competitive in the market and allow periods of stability for consumers. All of our efforts mirrored with socioenvironmental responsibility, solid and consistent financial results, contributing to society and rewarding the company's shareholders”.
In line with its commitment to the distribution of results and financial sustainability, the Petrobras’ Board of Directors approved the payment of R$ 17,5 billion in dividends and interest on equity relating to the 3Q23 results.
Debt under control
Petrobras' gross debt remains at a healthy level, falling within the reference range between US$50 billion and US$65 billion. The company ended the 3rd quarter with a gross debt of approximately US$ 61 billion, 5% above the previous quarter. This increase is attributed to the operation of the FPSO Anita Garibaldi in the Campos Basin, a chartered platform that increases both the company's assets and debt, according to international accounting standards (IFRS 16). Debt increase, therefore, is not associated with the company's financial debt raising, as it continues to pay its obligations with its operating cash flow, in line with its Strategic Plan.
According to Sergio Caetano Leite, Financial and Investor Relations Director, the company's debt level remains as planned. “We were at the lower end of our reference band because we anticipated the beginning of operation of some chartered FPSOs, such as Anita Garibaldi, whose production is in operation in the Campos Basin and contributing to the increase in Petrobras' production. Except for the chartering effect, the company's financial debt was stable compared to the 2nd quarter, reaching US$29.5 billion on Sept 30, 2023”.
Contributions to society
In 3Q23, Petrobras' investments totaled US$3.4 billion, 5% above 2Q23. In the first 9 months of the year, investments totaled US$9.1 billion, an increase of 31% compared to the same period in 2022. Despite the challenging scenario involving the supply market, which influenced the capacity to supply demand, Petrobras is expected to end the year with investments of US$13 billion, without compromising the production target planned for 2023.
Petrobras' operations continue to provide significant returns to society. In the 3rd quarter of the year alone, R$56.5 billion in taxes were paid to the federal, state and municipal entities. In the period, R$9 billion in previously approved dividends were also paid to the controlling group (Federal Government, BNDES and BNDESPar).
Exceptional operational performance
As reported in the production report, the company also had excellent operational results in 3Q23. The company's average production of oil, natural gas liquids (NGL) and own natural gas grew 9% compared to the 2nd quarter of 2023, reaching 2.88 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) in the period. These excellent numbers are primarily attributed to the elevated operational performance of the pre-salt platforms.
Production in the pre-salt layer broke a new quarterly record of 2.25 million boed, representing 78% of Petrobras' total production, beating the previous record of 2.06 million boed in the second quarter of this year. Petrobras’ total production also reached a record with 3.98 million boed in the same period, 8% above 2Q23.
The FPSO Almirante Barroso, in the Búzios Field, reached its maximum capacity of 150 thousand bpd, with three producing wells, on October 24, just 146 days after the first oil, a record in the pre-salt layer. Petrobras' previous record was that of the FPSO P-76, also in the Búzios field, which reached maximum production capacity in 234 days.
The utilization factor (UF) of Petrobras refineries reached 96% in the 3rd quarter, its best quarterly result since 2014. Total production of derivatives was 1,829 million barrels per day (Mbpd) in the period. The production of diesel, gasoline and QAV represented 69% of total production, a 2% compared to the 2nd quarter.
The company also reduced greenhouse gas emissions, making its best quarterly results for refineries in Energy Intensity (101.7) and Greenhouse Gas Emission Intensity (36.2 kgCO2eq/CWT), as a result of investments in the Program RefTOP (World Class Refining) and advances in energy efficiency.
* Source: Bloomberg, Nov 08, 2023.