Chevron blamed in Brazil oil spill: report

Mar 20, 2012
An underwater picture by Chevron oil company shows gear used to stop the oil spill off Brazil's coast. A report published Tuesday said the spill was the result of excessive pressure used by the oil giant.

A huge oil spill off Brazil's southern coast was the result of excessive pressure used by oil giant Chevron in drilling the sea floor, according to a report by police and prosecutors published by local media Tuesday.

The O Globo newspaper quoted Fabio Scliar, head of the environment unit of Brazil's federal police department, as saying that the deep water well "could not and should not have been drilled under the conditions presented in the area," adding that an "absurd" amount of pressure was used at the site situated off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state.

"All indications are that a desire for profits led (Chevron) to take the prohibitive risk" of drilling at the site, Scliar concluded in the document, according to O Globo.

Brazil's National Petroleum Agency (ANP), the country's national oil regulator, has estimated that some 2,400 barrels of crude were spilled at the site.

Following last year's huge spill in the Frade Field area off state, Brazilian authorities suspended all of Chevron's drilling operations and denied it access to huge new offshore fields, which ANP says have reserves that could surpass 100 billion barrels of high-quality .

The investigation attributed a smaller spill at the site last week to the same cause.

Prosecutors also have announced legal action against Chevron, its Brazilian unit and oil drilling contractor , seeking $11 billion over the November spill.

So far, Chevron has been fined $33 million and been barred from new exploration operations.

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User comments : 1

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northwest
1 / 5 (1) Mar 21, 2012
Not huge oil spill!

2500 barrels is about 350 MT and this is not a huge oil spill.
I have seen larger oil spill of bunkers oil from ships without no public interest. 350 MT of raw oil far from coast in a warm climate is not so serious.
There must be political reasons to this huge interest from Brazilian politicians. Had it been a Brazilian state owned oil company that was responsible I guess nearly nobody would have known about the spill.

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