Tags: chevron | brazil | oil | spill

Chevron Sued for Another $11 Billion on Brazilian Oil Spill

Tuesday, 03 April 2012 05:55 PM

Chevron Corp. and Transocean Ltd are being sued for another 20 billion reais ($11 billion) by a Brazilian federal prosecutor for a second oil spill at the Frade project off the nation’s coast.

Chevron committed “a series of errors” that led to the March spill at the project, the federal prosecutor’s office said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. Prosecutor Eduardo Santos is also seeking to halt operations at Frade and block Chevron from exporting profits from Brazil, according to the statement.

Santos filed the first 20 billion-reais lawsuit last year against San Ramon, California-based Chevron after a 3,000-barrel spill in November. Santos filed criminal charges against Chevron and Transocean executives last month, seeking penalties of as much as 31 years in prison for environmental crimes.

A drilling accident caused the November spill after Chevron underestimated the amount of pressure at a reservoir where it was drilling, causing oil to leak from the well to fissures on the seabed.

In March, Chevron reported new leaks on the seabed at the project. Chevron has halted production at Frade as a precautionary measure.

Chevron didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail and phone call seeking comment.

Transocean, which operated the drilling rig at Frade, “acted responsibly, appropriately and quickly, putting safety first,” Guy Cantwell, a spokesman for the Vernier, Switzerland- based company, said in an e-mail. The crew “always maintained control of the well and the rig’s equipment worked perfectly.”

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Tuesday, 03 April 2012 05:55 PM
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