Chevron: Yet to receive Frade oil seep lawsuit from Brazil

By OGJ editors

Chevron Corp. said it has yet to receive formal notice of a civil lawsuit that a Brazilian federal district prosecutor said he intends to file against Chevron and drilling contractor Transocean Ltd. seeking $10.7 billion in damages and also seeking an injunction to stop Chevron’s activities in Brazil.

The lawsuit concerns a November oil seep from an appraisal well at Frade oil field in 3,800 ft of water 370 km northeast of Rio de Janeiro. Upon receiving approval from the Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum on Nov. 13, Chevron Brazil immediately began plugging and abandonment activities.

Chevron said the oil flow was stopped within 4 days, and the company continues to contain any residual oil (OGJ Online, Nov. 16, 2011).

Brazil’s regulatory agencies and regulators have not issued any instructions to Chevron about suspension of operations, the company noted.

“From the outset, Chevron responded responsibly to the incident at its Frade field and has dealt transparently with all Brazilian authorities,” the company said Dec. 15.

Chevron said it continues to address the surface sheen, which is now estimated at less than 1 bbl. At one point, the sheen was estimated at 400-600 bbl. There have been no coastal or wildlife impacts.

Ali Moshiri, Chevron’s president for Africa and Latin America exploration and production, said Chevron remains committed to its long-term strategy in Brazil. He talked briefly with reporters at the Dec. 15 Deloitte LLP Oil & Gas conference in Houston after making a speech.

Chevron has 51.74% interest in Frade field, which has been in production since 2009.

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