Petrobras eyes satellite technology to detect oil spills


RIO DE JANEIRO�Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) is considering a new oil spill monitoring system for Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, which suffered two major oil spills this year. The system may employ buoys with infrared devices to transmit signals to low-orbit satellites when the devices detect the presence of hydrocarbons in the sea.

The satellite would then transmit the signal to Petrobras' control center, enabling technicians to act quickly in case of an oil spill, said Rui Fonseca, the company's environmental protection manager.

Fonseca said that the pilot project does not have a technological partner yet. However, market sources say that Orbcomm Global LP, a US satellite communications company, may participate in the system's implementation.

Orbcomm is represented in Latin America by Damos SudAmerica, a company of the Telecom Italia and Inepar group.

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