Spill Could Lead to a Chevron and Transocean Ban from Brazil’s Deep Waters – REPORT

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November 21, 2011

Despite Chevron taking full responsibility (and up until now the majority of heat from Brazil’s oil regulating agency, ANP) for the estimated 5,000 to 8,000 barrels of oil that leaked from the company’s Frade field located offshore Brazil, a report from Bloomberg this morning suggests that Transocean, who owns the rig that drilled the well, along with Chevron could be facing a downright ban from operating in Brazilian deep-waters.

Transocean Ltd. (RIG) will be banned from operating in Rio de Janeiro state, the state’s environment secretary, Carlos Minc, said today. The company will be fined as much as 50 million reais ($28 million) and may be ordered by a court to make damage payments, Minc told reporters in Rio de Janeiro today. Chevron is co-responsible for the spill, he said.

Company spokesman Guy Cantwell declined to comment on the possible operating ban.

Transocean has 10 rigs operating in Brazilian waters, including the Petrobras 10000, a 2-year-old vessel designed to drill seven miles beneath the sea surface and withstand 47-foot waves. Read more.

Today, Brazil’s ANP has criticized Chevron for not being ready to carry out the emergency plan approved by local oil regulators during the spill.

Chevron said yesterday that up to 18 vessels have been in rotating operation to support well plugging operations and oil cleanup using containment booms and surface skimming.  The company added it has not used sand or chemical dispersants in the process.

Stay tuned for updates on this developing story…


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