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Petrobras guarantees fuel supplies despite import ban

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Rio de Janeiro, Jun 14 (EFE).- Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petrobras said Friday there was no risk of fuel shortages even though the company is temporarily barred by court order from importing gasoline or diesel.

A court this week informed the company, which in recent months has been increasing its fuel imports to meet growing demand, that it was barred from all import and export operations until it pays 7.3 billion reais (some $3.7 billion) in back taxes.

The Superior Court of Justice on Monday invalidated a tax certificate that a judge had provisionally granted the company and which allowed it to conduct export and import operations while it continues to fight the tax dispute in the courts.

"Petrobras clarifies that it is adopting the necessary measures so that, in a brief period of time, its Certificate of Good Standing is reestablished," the company said in a statement.

Although Petrobras achieved record output last month of 2.1 million refined barrels per day, it still needs to import nearly 400,000 bpd to meet domestic demand.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company did not say how long it would be able to meet demand without new imports.

Brazilian authorities have sued Petrobras for back withholding taxes allegedly owed on payments to foreign companies to lease oil platforms between 1999 and 2002.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/130615/petrobras-guarantees-fuel-supplies-despite-import-ban