Petrobras oil platforms off the north-east coast of Brazil have halted production after a leak of about 44 barrels (7000 liters) of oil was detected coming from a pipeline linking them, a local oil workers union head said over the weekend.
Brazil's oil regulator, ANP, confirmed the leak in the Camorim field, 16 kilometers off the coast of the city of Aracaju, northeast Sergipe state and said Petrobras had contained it.
Stoessel Chagas, director of the Sindipetro-ES, which represents Petrobras offshore oil workers in Brazil's Alagoas and Sergipe state, said the leak was detected coming from a pipeline linking the PCM-5 and PCM-6 production platforms, the news wire reported.
Petrobras confirmed the spill in a statement, adding that even though nearly all of the oil had been collected or dispersed, the company expects some small particles to reach shore. Petrobras said it expects to complete repairs of the leak over the weekend.
The four platforms that halted output are PCM-5, PCM-6, PCM-8 and PCM-9, which together produce 400 barrels of oil and 60,000 cubic meters of natural gas a day, according to ANP data.
The little leaks from these platforms are constant due to the lack of maintenance, said Chagas, who added that Petrobras has been using clamps to plug the leaks. We joke that there is more clamp than pipeline in the system, he said.
The ANP said it was in contact with the Brazilian navy, which is monitoring the dispersion of the oil slick. It added that it may open an investigation of the incident and will continue to monitor the situation.