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Up to 8,000 Barrels of Oil Leak Offshore Brazil, Chevron Takes “Full Responsibility”

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November 20, 2011

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones)–The Brazilian unit of major U.S. oil company Chevron Corp. (CVX) takes “full responsibility” for a leaking well bore that left a sheen of crude staining the Atlantic Ocean, a company official said Sunday.

“Any oil on the surface of the ocean is unacceptable to Chevron,” said George Buck, president of Chevron Brasil.

Chevron has plugged the appraisal well that was the primary source of the leaking crude, which traveled to the surface through a hole in the well bore after the rock wall of the well failed, Buck said.

Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, estimated the leak at between 200 and 330 barrels of crude per day, which was “in the ballpark,” Buck said. Another government estimate put the total volume of the spill at 5,000 to 8,000 barrels. Buck said that estimate was also “in the ballpark, perhaps high.”

Chevron has not used any chemical dispersants on the oil slick on the ocean’s surface, using only mechanical dispersion and collection, Buck said. He denied that Chevron was using sand on the sheen.

-By Jeff Fick, Dow Jones Newswires

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