Brazilian Navy Investigates Oil Slick Near Petrobas Platform

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May 17, 2012

RIO DE JANEIRO (Dow Jones)–The Brazilian Navy confirmed Thursday that an oil slick has been spotted off the coast of Espirito Santo state, with a team still on site trying to determine the source of the oil, a spokeswoman told Dow Jones Newswires.

“Yes, there was an oil leak,” the Navy spokeswoman said. “Espirito Santo port officials have sent a team to the area to verify what happened.” The Navy expects to give more details about the incident later Thursday, when the team returns to shore, the spokeswoman said.

Petrobras did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Thursday’s spill is the latest in a series of incidents to hit Brazil’s offshore oil industry since a November leak at the Frade field operated by U.S. oil major Chevron Corp. (CVX). A drilling accident caused an estimated 2,400 to 3,000 barrels of crude to seep into the Atlantic Ocean from cracks in the seabed. Production at the field was shuttered in March, when separate seeps were discovered in a nearby area.

The latest slick was discovered close to the P-57 platform operated by state-run energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR, PETR4.BR), or Petrobras. The P-57 platform, which was installed last year, pumps oil from the Jubarte field, which is part of a larger oil-producing area known as the Whales Park because the fields are all named after different types of whales.

-By Jeff Fick, Dow Jones Newswires

Copyright © 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

Video: Petrobas’ P-57, a super FPSO-type platform

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