UPDATE 3-China loan to Petrobras may help pay most 2016 debt -source
* China loan comes at crucial time for troubled Petrobras
* Loan is for $5 billion to $10 billion -source
* Payment can be in oil or cash at China's request -source
* Loan boosts China Bank's Brazil exposure, but amount unclear (Rewrites, adds source comment, loan detail, Petrobras debt background, tallies of China's Petrobras loans)
By Jeb Blount
RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 26 (Reuters) - A Chinese loan of up to $10 billion to Brazil's Petrobras could pay nearly all its $12 billion in maturing obligations in 2016, easing pressure on the oil company as it struggles to fix its troubled finances by selling assets and slashing spending.
The credit line to Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as state-run Petrobras is formally known, is from China Development Bank and was announced on Friday. It is for $5 billion to $10 billion and can be repaid in cash or oil at China's request, a source involved in debt talks told Reuters.
Petrobras has about $130 billion in obligations, making it the world's most indebted oil producer and one of the world's most indebted non-financial companies.
"The loan increases China's commitment to Petrobras and will go a long way to pay the $12 billion coming due this year," said the source, who asked not to be identified because permission to speak publicly about the loan had not been granted. Continuación...