Thursday 23 November 2017

Chevron Asked to Suspend Activity in Brazil; Brazil Sues Chevron, Transocean for $11 Billion

Brazil's federal prosecutor on Wednesday said it wants Chevron Corp. and Transocean Ltd. to shut down operations in Brazil, as it sues the two firms for 20 billion Brazilian reais ($11 billion) in damages allegedly caused by an oil spill in early November.

Chevron Asked to Suspend Activity in Brazil; Brazil Sues Chevron, Transocean for $11 Billion

“Chevron and Transocean weren’t capable of controlling the damages from a spill of 3,000 barrels of oil, which proves a lack of environmental planning and management,” the federal prosecutors’ office in Campos, Rio de Janeiro state, said today in a statement on the Federal Public Ministry’s website. The prosecutors didn’t say in which court the suit was filed.

Chevron, the second-largest U.S. crude producer after Exxon Mobil, is being audited by Brazil’s petroleum regulator for the oil leak at the Frade project off the coast of Rio de Janeiro last month. Brazil has tightened safety conditions at crude projects following the spill at BP Plc’s Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

Brazilian prosecutors said in today’s statement they are asking a court to immediately suspend Chevron and Transocean’s operations in the country and order a “definitive halt” after assessing the case. A court must rule on the request and the damages.

Transocean, the operator of the rig at Chevron’s Frade project, “continues to cooperate with the authorities,” Guy Cantwell, a spokesman, said in a telephone interview from Houston. “We haven’t seen anything in writing,” he said.

‘Responded Responsibly’

Chevron said in an e-mailed statement it hasn’t been formally notified of any legal action and that it “responded responsibly to the incident at its Frade Field and has dealt transparently with all Brazilian authorities.”