Brazilian Prosecutor Readies To File Criminal Charges Against Chevron And Transocean

chevron spill

Photo: AP Images

A federal prosecutor in Brazil wants to file criminal charges against Chevron executives and employees of its drill-rig contractor Transocean in Brazil, according to The Rio Times.Officials have also reportedly ordered Chevron’s Brazil chief George Buck and 16 others to hand over their passports and stay in the country.

This comes after the Chevron reported a new leak at its Frade oil field in the Campos Basin.

Chevron has already been fined over the spill. The same prosecutor — Eduardo de Oliveira Santos — filed a R$20 billion suit following the spill back in November. It was also fined R$50 million by Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency, ANP for failing to put in place required environmental and safety procedures. 

Chevron said that an unexpected pressure spike occurred during the drilling of an appraisal well at the Frade field back in November, and the well was immediately secured. Oil however continued to seep through the sea bed at distances of over 98 feet from the well-head causing an oil sheen at the surface. The source of the leak was reportedly stopped in four days.

As of January, a video posted by Chevron showed no oil sheen on the ocean surface.  But recent media reports showed a new sheen has been detected. Reports suggest that somewhere between 2,400 to 3,000 barrels of crude have spilled into the ocean.

Chevron has been banned from further drilling in the country. Chevron has a 51.7 per cent stake in the Frade project which is the oil giant’s first oil field development project in Brazil.

Santos is expected to file criminal charges against executives of Chevron and Transocean tomorrow.

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