RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Brazilian output of oil and natural gas rose to its highest level in nearly two years in December as new fields came on line to replace declining output from older areas, the country's oil regulator ANP said on Monday.
Forty-six companies produced 2.62 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) from Brazilian on-shore and offshore fields in the month, the highest daily average since February 2012, the ANP said in a statement.
Output was 1.5 percent more than a year earlier and 1.7 percent higher than in November. Production was aided by a record output of natural gas in the month, the ANP said.
Brazilian output has stagnated in recent years as state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, was forced to perform maintenance on some of its older platforms and new fields were delayed coming on line.
Petrobras, which owned 87 percent of Brazil's output in December, expects output in 2014 to rise as it brings new production ships on line.
The No. 2 Brazilian producer spot was taken by BG Group Plc . BG owned 59,172 boepd of output in the month, 6.7 percent more than in November. Norway's Statoil ASA was No. 3 with 50,377 boepd, 7.3 percent less than in November.