SAO PAULO Nov 2 Brazilian President Dilma
Rousseff will allow state-run oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA
to increase domestic fuel prices "two or
three times" a year through the use of a formula without
triggering significant consumer price gains, newspaper O Estado
de S. Paulo said on Saturday.
According to Estado, which cited an unidentified
presidential aide as the source for the information, Rousseff's
endorsement of the plan aims to ensure that the company,
commonly known as Petrobras, has a predictable business plan for
the years ahead.
Petrobras said this week that its new policy to set domestic
diesel and gasoline prices will automatically trigger
adjustments based on international prices, exchange rates and
other factors. The methodology will not allow full pass-through
of volatility of international oil prices, Petrobras said.
A presidential palace spokeswoman declined to comment on the
Estado report. Calls to mining and energy ministry media
officials were not immediately answered.
The new formula, once it is in place, will help Petrobras
smooth out short-term gaps between international and domestic
fuel prices that have triggered more than $10 billion in losses
at its refining division over the past couple of years.
The plan is expected to help Petrobras, ranked by some
analysts as the world's most indebted company, to cut debt that
has ballooned because of a government-mandated policy that the
company sell imported fuel at a loss to keep local prices low.