Brazil Navy investigates new oil spill off coast


Brazil Navy investigates new oil spill off coast
(BDCi) – An oil spill was discovered off Brazil’s coast near the country’s Espirito Santo state, Brazil’s Navy said on Thursday.

This is the latest in a series of spills that have raised questions about the safety of a massive expansion of the country’s oil production capacity.

The Navy said it has sent a team to investigate and has no immediate estimate of the spill’s size.

Oil workers returning home after work offshore said there was an oil stain about one kilometer long on the ocean near the P-57 oil platform operated by Ptrobras, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, the Folha de Sao Paulo daily newspaper reported.

The P-57, a converted oil tanker, works in the Jubarte field about 85 kilometers (53 miles) off Brazil’s coast. Jubarte is the fourth largest producing oil field in the country.

Petrobras plans to spend about $225 billion over five years to help triple oil output to about 6 million bpd by 2020. The vast majority of that oil will come from offshore fields near Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

A spill in the Frade field south of Jubarte in November led to civil lawsuits seeking about $20 billion in damages and criminal charges against Chevron, which operates the field as well as Transocean, its drilling contractor, and 17 of the two companies’ employees.

Chevron and its partners in the field decided to shut down output in Frade after additional, unexplained leaks were found in field waters in March.

Chevron and Tansocean deny any wrongdoing. Chevron owns 52 percent of Frade and Petrobras owns 30 percent. The rest is owned by a Japanese group led by Inpex and Sojitz Corp.

By: Natania Levine
17 May 2012
10:02 a.m. P.D.T


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