This excerpt taken from the PBR 6-K filed Nov 21, 2007.
(A free translation of the original report in Portuguese)
The method used by Petrobras to calculate the special participation due for the Marlim field, is based on the legally legitimate interpretation of Directive 10 of January 14, 1999, approved by the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) itself.
On September 06, 2005, the Board of Directors of the ANP determined the constitution of a Work Group with the mission to demonstrate, by means of technical criteria, the methodology to be applied in the calculation of the Special Participation in the Marlim field, as well as endorse the amounts paid by Petrobras on account of this participation.
The Work Group produced the Report on the Certification of the Payment of the Special Participation in the Marlim Field, approved by the Full Board of Directors of the ANP, by means of Board Resolution 267/2006 of August 16, 2006 and circulated to Petrobras on August 18, 2006. The methodology used by Petrobras is the same as that contained in the report approved by the ANP.
In summary, the Report established the methodology to be applied with regard to the Special Participation in Marlim, and also determined that Petrobras make an additional payment in the amount of R$ 400 million, relating to underpayments by Petrobras as a result of having used the calculation method initially determined by the ANP.
Petrobras accepted the order of the ANP, on the grounds that the new methodology applied by the Work Group had not been applied retroactively, thus ensuring compliance with constitutional principles such as legal security and the perfect legal act.
A consequence of the additional payment was the settlement in full of the additional amounts charged, in accordance with the final decision at the highest level of decision-making at the ANP its Full Board of Directors.
On July 18, 2007, Petrobras was notified of a new ANP Board Resolution stipulating the payment of further sums considered due, retroactively to 1998, annulling the earlier Board Resolution on August 16, 2006.
Ordinance 10 of January 14, 1999 approved by Board Resolution 267/2006 of August 16, 2006, is legitimate and legal and therefore may not be revoked or annulled, under penalty of total violation of the above mentioned constitutional principles. Its annulment imparts total legal uncertainly, not only for Petrobras, but to all the concessionaires.
Petrobras is taking legal advice on this issue, not having discarded the possibility of filing a lawsuit to disclose the validity of the procedures adopted by the Company and to protect the interests of its shareholders.