Chevron pays US$17.5 million fine for Brazil spill
Agence France-Presse in Rio de Janeiro
US oil firm Chevron has paid a US$17.5 million fine for a major spill off Rio de Janeiro state last year, Brazilian authorities said Thursday.
In a brief statement, the country’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP) said Chevron Brasil Upstream Frade Ltda. had paid the sum (35.1 million real) last Friday without appealing it.
A report by ANP released in July accused Chevron of negligence and said the company could have avoided the spill, which occurred in November in the Frade field, located 370 kilometers (230 miles) northwest of Rio.
The paid fine covered 24 infractions. Another fine linked to the abandonment of the well would be imposed in the next two months, ANP president Magda Chambriard said earlier this month.
Chevron could also be hit with an additional fine of US$50,000 for “other items” she said at the time.
In late 2011, the Brazilian environment institute Ibama already imposed fines worth a total of US$33.4 million on Chevron for environmental damage and failings in its emergency plan during the accident.
In November, some 3,000 barrels of crude spilled into deep Atlantic waters in the Frade field.
As a precaution, Chevron voluntarily interrupted its Brazilian activities in March, after detecting another leak three kilometers (1.8 miles) from the first.
In August, a Brazilian court ordered Chevron and its driller Transocean to stop their oil drilling and shipping activities within 30 days.