The ANP (National Petroleum Agency), Brazil’s oil regulator announced it is suspending the drilling rights of US oil major Chevron in Brazilian territory until the oil multinational clarifies conditions of the recent oil spill in its Frade field. off Rio’s coast.
The agency also said it has denied Chevron’s request to drill into ultra-deep sub-salt areas, which hold huge deposits of oil off Brazil’s coast.
More than 2.400 barrels leaked into the Atlantic Ocean about 370 kilometers off the northeastern coast of Rio de Janeiro state.
Chevron has said it underestimated the pressure of an underwater oil reservoir while drilling on Nov. 7. That allowed oil to rise up a bore hole and make its way to the ocean’s surface even though regulators say the leak is now under control.
Testifying before the Brazilian congress Chevron Brazil CEO George Buck apologized for the spill but added that his company “acted as rapidly and safely as possible” and “used all resources” to contain and stop the flow of oil from the well.
“We controlled the source in four days. We worked with transparency and cooperation with the authorities of Brazil,” Buck told Brazilian lawmakers. “Please understand that during those first days it was very confusing, very difficult to manage the flow of information.”
Brazil’s government slapped Chevron with a $28 million fine on Monday for causing an offshore oil spill, and the penalty could rise as the U.S. company faces a political backlash over the accident.