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RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Brazil’s state-led Petroleo Brasileiro SA was forced to shut down operations for nearly a day at its PPM-1 offshore oil platform in the Pampo Field after an oil leak, a Brazilian oilworkers’ union said Monday on its website.

The platform was shut down Sunday after an estimated 30 liters (0.19 barrel) of oil leaked into the sea, the union, known as SindipetroNF, said.

Late Monday, Petrobras, as the oil company is known, said the original 30-liter leak happened on Saturday with an additional 10 liters of oil being released into the ocean on Sunday. Emergency spill plans were enacted and production temporarily stopped on the platform, the company added.

SindipetroNF said that after an investigation into the causes of the leak, workers began restarting wells on Monday that are tied to the PPM-1 platform.

Petrobras said the spill was dispersed manually by specialized ships and as of Monday no sign of the spill was visible in the ocean.

The PPM-1 fixed platform is one of Petrobras’ oldest. While it is located in the Pampo field, discovered in 1977, Petrobras is using excess capacity on the platform to produce oil from wells in newly discovered fields nearby as output from Pampo itself declines.

Efforts to maintain older platforms, some which have been operating for more than three decades, have helped Petrobras stem output losses as production from giant new fields has been delayed.

The company’s output of oil and natural gas in Brazil and abroad fell 1.2 percent in December from a year earlier to 2.68 million barrels a day. (Reporting by Jeb Blount and Leila Coimbra; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

(c) 2013 Thomson Reuters, Click For Restrictions

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