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Brazil oil claims reaction to 2010 spill

BRASILIA, Brazil, March 23 (UPI) -- Charges against Chevron for oil leaks reported off the coast of Brazil are indicative of the sea change following BP's 2010 oil spill, an analyst said.

More than 2,500 barrels of oil spilled at the Frade field, operated by Chevron, off the coast of Brazil in November. The company last week suspended operations at the field after reporting a similar incident near the same area.

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Brazilian prosecutors charged executives from Chevron and rig-owner Transocean with environmental crimes and some company officials were banned from leaving the country.

Christopher Garman, an expert on Latin American affairs at Eurasia Group, told Bloomberg News this is part of a new reality for international oil companies.

"This political firestorm is indicative of a post-Macondo world," he said, referring to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Chevron denies it was negligent in Brazil and said last week's seep wasn't related to the November incident.

Silvio Jablonski, an adviser to the Brazil's National Petroleum Agency, was quoted as saying Chevron's contract could be revoked for "critical non-compliance." Chevron, in a statement, said the Brazilian claims are "outrageous."

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