Brazil oil regulators confirmed Monday that U.S. oil major Chevron Corp. (CVX) will have to pay some type of financial penalty for the company’s role in a November oil spill, with a final determination on the amount of the payment likely by July.
The investigation of the November spill is “ongoing,” with Chevron currently responding to infractions and irregularities determined by Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, during a “defense phase,” an ANP spokesman said. “By July, the amount of any possible financial compensation should be defined.”
The spokesman said it was impossible to make any determination about the amount of fines or penalties that could be levied. ANP Director Magda Chambriard, however, told reporters at an event in Rio de Janeiro that the ANP would ask Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry to review laws on financial punishment with an eye toward boosting financial penalties.
Chevron and drill rig operator Transocean Ltd. (RIG) are facing civil and criminal lawsuits for their roles in the incident at the Chevron-operated Frade offshore oil field. A drilling accident caused an estimated 2,400 to 3,000 barrels of crude oil to seep into the Atlantic Ocean from cracks in the seabed.
In an emailed statement, Chevron said that the company’s local unit, Chevron Brasil, “responded responsibly to the incident at its Frade field and has dealt transparently with all Brazilian authorities.”
By Jeff Frick, © 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.