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RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras announced Wednesday it posted a record net profit of nearly $20 billion in 2021.

Net profit for the final quarter last year came in at $5.64 billion, bringing 2021's total to $19.88 billion, the company said, a stark contrast to 2020's total of just over $1 billion due to effects of the pandemic.

"This increase is mainly due to the 70 percent increase of the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil in this period, higher sales volumes in the domestic market and higher margins in the derivatives market," Petrobras, a Brazilian publicly owned company, said in a statement.

The post-pandemic economic recovery also contributed to the increase of sales in Brazil, the group said.

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The 2021 final quarter's net profit was down from the third quarter's net of $5.94 billion and down 51 percent from the final quarter of 2020.

The company's debt was reduced to $47.62 billion in 2021 from $63.17 billion the year before.

Petrobras produced 1.77 billion barrels of oil equivalent per day last year, down 2.2 percent from the previous year.

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