* Tax debt related to lease of offshore platforms
* Judge quashes injunction allowing payment delay
* Petrobras leased platforms in lower-tax countries
* Alleged debt from 1999-2002, already provisioned
RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 5 Brazil's state-led oil
company Petrobras may have to pay a 4.78 billion real
($2.35 billion), decade-old tax claim related to the lease of
foreign offshore oil platforms after a judge ruled against the
company, Petrobras said on Monday.
Brazilian federal judge in Rio de Janeiro quashed an
injunction won by Petrobras in March allowing it to avoid
payment until a court challenge of the tax ruling was resolved,
Petrobras said in a filing with Brazilian securities regulators.
Brazil's authorities are seeking taxes allegedly owed on
payments to foreign companies between 1999 and 2002, Petrobras
said. The payments to lease offshore oil platforms were made in
countries where taxation of platforms is lower than in Brazil.
Petrobras, miner Vale SA, and other Brazilian
multinationals have been fighting what they consider to be
double taxation of their activities by Brazilian authorities.
Officials allege that some companies improperly move business
offshore to avoid taxes in Brazil.
Petrobras has included provisions for the payment related to
the latest judicial ruling in its accounts for years, the
company said in the statement. It also said it is considering
options for an appeal.
Petrobras leases many of its oil-production platforms, ships
and drilling rigs from its own Netherlands-based shipping
subsidiary as well as from other foreign companies it does not
own, such as Transocean Ltd..
Petrobras shares gained 0.1 percent to 20.87 reais Monday
morning on the BM&FBovespa exchange in Sao Paulo.