Brazil judge dismisses oil spill suit against Chevron, Transocean

01 October 2013 23:47  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--A federal judge in Brazil has dismissed a civil lawsuit against Chevron and drilling partner Transocean in connection with an oil spill off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in 2011, the US oil major said on Tuesday.

Brazil prosecutors had been seeking around $20bn (€15bn) in damages after an estimated 3,700 bbl of crude oil escaped from the Chevron operated Frade offshore field in November 2011.

Chevron and Transocean voluntarily suspended activities as a precautionary measure after another seepage was detected in March 2012.

The judge dismissed the prosecutors’ lawsuit after approving an adjustment of conduct accord signed by Chevron, Transocean, Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP) and federal prosecutors on 13 September.

Under the terms of the accord, and as a compensatory measure, Chevron has agreed to fund socio-environmental projects to the sum of Brazilian reais (R) 95.2m ($42.9m).

The company also agreed to adopt a series of “unprecedented measures of precaution and prevention” relating to further activities.

“Chevron Brasil is pleased with the settlement,” said company spokesman Kurt Glaubitz. “We look forward to a continued partnership with Brazil and assisting in developing its energy potential.”

Transocean did not immediately respond to a request for comment, although the September accord stated that it would not be fined for its role in the accident.

According to Chevron, the company owns a 51.7% stake in Frade, while Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras and Japanese partnership Frade Japao own 30% and 18.3%, respectively.

($1 = €0.74, $1 = R2.22)

By: Simon West

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