This excerpt taken from the PBR 6-K filed Mar 30, 2009.
11. Petroleum and Alcohol Account - Receivable from Federal Government Changes in the Petroleum and Alcohol account
The following summarizes the changes in the Petroleum and Alcohol account for the years ended December 31, 2008 and 2007:
The Petroleum and Alcohol account arose in periods previous to December 31, 2002 as a result of regulation in the fuels market. The Federal Government has certified the balance and placed a portion of the amount (US$53) in a restricted use account. In order to conclude the settlement of accounts with the Federal Goverment, pursuant to Provisional Measure nº 2.181, of August 24, 2001, and after providing all the information required by the National Treasury Office - STN, Petrobras is seeking to settle all the remaining disputes between the parties.
The remaining balance of the Petroleum and Alcohol account may be paid as follows: (1) National Treasury Bonds issued at the same amount as the final balance of the Petroleum and Alcohol account; (2) offset of the balance of the Petroleum and Alcohol account, with any other amount owed by Petrobras to the Federal Government, including taxes; or (3) by a combination of the above options.