Brazil's Rousseff says Petrobras critics distort facts

|About: Petrobras - Petroleo Brasil... (PBR)|By:, SA News Editor

Brazilian President Rousseff lashes out at critics of Petrobras (PBR -1.7%), saying accusations of corruption, cost overruns and stagnation at the state-run company are politically motivated.

"Those who say Petrobras is losing value... they manipulate data, they distort analyses, they deliberately fail to realize the reality of the world petroleum market," Rousseff proclaims, but the reality is PBR's production has stagnated, and domestic fuel price controls have forced it to boost money-losing gasoline and diesel imports.

Rousseff praises the Abreu e Lima refinery, which is expected to cost $20B by the time it starts operating later this year; each new barrel of new capacity added by the refinery is expected to cost double or triple the cost/barrel of refineries built in Latin America, the Middle East and China in recent years.

PBR is at the center of a growing corruption scandal including a police raid on its headquarters and the arrest of at least one former company director, and the company also may face an investigation of one of its refineries in Texas.