Chevron weighs response to Brazilian fines

Sept. 18, 2012 at 8:22 AM

SAN RAMON, Calif., Sept. 18 (UPI) -- U.S. supermajor Chevron said it was hiring more than a dozen people to handle risks at the Frade field in Brazil after the government there levied fines.

The Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum said it would fine Chevron about $17 million for a spill at the Frade field.

The Brazilian government filed charges against Chevron and Transocean for a March seep and for the spill of more than 2,500 barrels of oil at the Frade field in November. In August, both companies were ordered to suspend operations in Brazil.

A person with knowledge of Chevron's work in Brazil said about 16 people would be hired in the coming months to address risks at the Frade field. The company plans to challenge the ban and the person spoke with Bloomberg News on condition of anonymity because the hiring wasn't yet publicized.

Transocean said in August it would continue working in Brazil as it studies the court order. The company said it would use every legal means to prove its oil spill response plan in Brazil is solid.

Reserves of an estimated 50 billion barrels of oil are thought to be off the Brazilian coast.

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