The Brazilian oil company Petrobras reported this Wednesday net profits of 5,636 million dollars in the fourth quarter of 2021, ending the year with record earnings of $19.875 million.
Earnings for 2021 represent a significant increase compared to profits for 2020, which had been 1,141 million dollars due to the impact of the first year of the pandemic.
“This expressive increase is mainly due to the 70% rise in Brent in the period, combined with higher sales volumes in the domestic market and better margins in derivatives,” explained the oil company.
The improvement in the domestic market was mainly due to “the economic recovery after the rise of the Covid pandemic,” the company added.
Until then, the best annual result had been in 2019, when the state company reported a profit of 10,151 million dollars.
In the fourth quarter, net profit was 5,636 million, slightly below the 5,938 million dollars obtained in the third quarter and 51% less than the 11,509 million dollars of the last quarter of 2020.
“Petrobras generated consistent results in the fourth quarter, showing that a healthy company committed to society is capable of growing, investing, creating jobs, paying taxes and returning money to its shareholders, effectively contributing to the country’s development,” said the company president, reserve general Joaquim Silva e Luna.
The net debt of the state company was reduced to 47.620 million dollars at the end of 2021, from 63.168 million in 2020.
In terms of production, the company produced 1.77 million barrels daily oil equivalents (Mboed), 2.2% less than the previous year.
Between 2014 and 2017 the company suffered significant losses, submerged in a crisis after the revelation of a gigantic corruption scheme mounted between businessmen, political parties and former officials of the state company to divert public resources by rigging contracts.
Just as it was emerging from the crisis, the pandemic caused oil prices to fall to record lows in 2020, and lockdowns caused a collapse in travel around the world.