Brazil fines Chevron for oil spill

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, December 24, 2011 10:03 EDT
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A picture of Brazil's oil slick (AFP)
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Brazil’s Environment Institute on Friday ordered US oil giant Chevron to pay another fine related to the early November oil spill off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

The agency, known as Ibama, ordered Chevron to pay $5.4 million for failures in the company’s emergency plan. Ibama earlier fined Chevron $28 million for environmental damages caused by the spill.

The agency said it discovered an “absence of equipment in the emergency vessels and a delay in the first response to the spill,” the statement read.

Prosecutors previously announced legal action against Chevron, its Brazilian unit and Transocean, seeking $11 billion over the spill last month at a production well at the Frade field, 370 kilometers (230 miles) off Rio de Janeiro state. The well is located 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) below the ocean surface.

The state-run National Petroleum Agency calculated that some 3,000 barrels of crude were spilled.

Authorities suspended all of Chevron’s drilling operations on November 23 and denied it access to huge new offshore fields, which Brazil’s national petroleum agency says have reserves that could surpass 100 billion barrels of high-quality recoverable oil.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
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