Brazilian state-controlled oil giant Petrobras plans to invest $71.6 billion to boost domestic production of petroleum derivatives through 2016 and check a rise in costly fuel imports, the official Agencia Brasil news agency reported.

Some $24.9 billion will be allocated for refinery projects, a figure that could rise to $31.2 billion, Petrobras refining and supply chief Jose Carlos Cosenza said.

Those projected expenditures are part of the company's 2012-2016 business plan, which was approved in June and calls for total investment of $236.5 billion over the five-year period, or $47.3 billion annually.

The bulk of those investment outlays has been earmarked for oil and gas extraction, production and refining.

"A great effort is being made to minimize imports of derivatives," Cosenza said.

Petrobras, which registered average oil and natural gas output of 2.55 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in July, down 1.2 percent from the previous month, plans to open several refineries over the next two years to meet fast-rising fuel demand.

Fuel consumption has risen rapidly in Brazil in recent years, with demand for diesel and gasoline climbing 43 percent and 49 percent, respectively, between 2000 and 2011. EFE