September 20, 2018 / 6:55 PM / in 7 months

Brazil OKs second diesel subsidy payment of $173 million to Petrobras

Visitors walk during a visit to Brazil's Petrobras P-66 oil rig in the offshore Santos basin in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 5, 2018. Picture taken September 5. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian oil industry regulator ANP on Thursday approved an additional payment of 706 million reais ($173.19 million) to state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA to compensate for diesel subsidies, according to a statement.

Earlier this week, ANP said it green-lighted a payment of 877 million reais to Petrobras, the first for the company since the subsidy program was unveiled in late May to end a truckers’ strike over high diesel prices.

The announcement from ANP confirmed a Reuters report earlier on Thursday.

The subsidy plan raised fears of further state meddling in Petrobras, the world’s most indebted oil company, and has spurred criticism of the government’s subsidy program and lack of timely payment of compensation.

($1 = 4.0765 Brazilian reais)

Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier and Marta Nogueira; Writing by Marcelo Teixeira and Alexandra Alper; Editing by Leslie Adler and Peter Cooney

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