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Montevideo, June 5th 2023 - 04:22 UTC



Brazilian federal police open a probe into an oil spill from a Chevron well

Thursday, November 17th 2011 - 22:11 UTC
Full article 24 comments
“The spill is not good, but neither is it as grave as is being reported”, said Energy minister Lobao “The spill is not good, but neither is it as grave as is being reported”, said Energy minister Lobao

Brazilian federal police have opened a probe into US oil giant Chevron over alleged pollution linked to an oil spill at its offshore Frade project, local media reported Thursday.

Brazil's energy regulator ANP said oil seeps off the coast of Rio de Janeiro were caused by a well drilled by Chevron at Frade, where the company has estimated as much as 650 barrels had been released causing a “sheen” on the sea surface.

The daily newspaper Folha de S. Paulo cited Fabio Scliar of the Federal Police's division of environment and historical patrimony as saying that information provided by Chevron to the police did not match what police saw upon a visit to the site.

“Initially, the reports do not correspond to reality” Folha quoted Scliar saying. “I want to understand what's happening.”

Energy Minister Edison Lobao told reporters in Brasilia that the leak “is not good, but neither is it as grave as is being said”

He said the ANP which is investigating the leak could take legal action against the company if there are grounds for it and warned that Chevron would be held to account for any breaches of conduct. Lobao did not express any specific complaint against Chevron however.

“If Chevron is not doing its part, it will be severely punished,” Lobao said.

In an e-mailed response to reporters' questions about the investigation, a Chevron spokesman said the company “continues to fully inform and cooperate with Brazilian government agencies as part of the company's response efforts”

The company on Tuesday said it had started plugging the well that was suspected of causing the oil seeps and that the seeps appeared to have stopped.

On Sunday, Chevron said the sheen has spread over 163 square kilometres from the well area. The company has vessels in the area working to either recover or disperse the oil.

Tags: Chevron.

Top Comments

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  • GeoffWard2

    A oil spill is not the same as an oil seep.

    A single well in the extraction array seems associated with the seepage; the well is being/has been plugged.

    Chevron/Transocean Campos oil seep/sheen : 650 barrels should be compared to
    Deepwater Horizon (well):492,000 - 627,000 tonnes
    Ixtoc (well): 454,000 - 480,000 tonnes
    Torrey Canyon (foundering): 80,000 - 119,000 tonnes
    Exxon Valdez (foundering): 37,000 - 104,000 tonnes

    Nov 18th, 2011 - 08:11 pm 0
  • Forgetit87

    Interesting, though not unpredictable, that the media has sided with Chevron. Had the spill been caused by Petrobrás, no doubt the media would use this in its campaign against the government, and Veja, against national SOEs in general.

    Nov 19th, 2011 - 07:53 pm 0
  • GeoffWard2


    Nov 19th, 2011 - 09:21 pm 0
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