Production at Brazil's deepwater pre-salt oil fields in the Atlantic hit a record 407,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Feb. 20, state-controlled oil giant Petrobras said Tuesday.

The production record was achieved at the 21 fields operating in the pre-salt area, which is estimated to hold vast reserves of light crude oil and natural gas at depths of up to 7,000 meters (22,950 feet), Petrobras said in a statement.

The pre-salt layer is found beneath the sea floor and contains a gel-like deposit of salt that could be up to two kilometers (1.24 miles) thick.

Production hit 407,000 bpd eight years after the existence of the reserves was officially announced, Petrobras said.

The milestone was reached "in a shorter time than was needed to achieve this level at other important maritime production areas in the world," Petrobras said.

It took 19 years in the Gulf of Mexico to exceed the 400,000 bpd level, the oil company said. EFE