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July 20th, 2012

Brazil Investigation: Chevron’s Offshore Oil Leak Larger Than Estimated

A report by Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency reveals that an offshore oil leak near a Chevron well in 2011 could have been prevented and was larger than previously estimated.

Previous estimates put the leak at 110,000 gallons, which Chevron says it sticks by. But the Brazilian agency says about 155,000 gallons leaked into the ocean. The report also says the incident was preventable had Chevron been conducting its operations while “fully adhering to the regulations of the ANP (National Petroleum Agency) and industrywide best practices.”

The agency said it would fine Chevron the maximum amount allowed, about $25 million. A federal prosecutor also has filed an $11 billion lawsuit against Chevron and driller Transocean Ltd.

“We disagree with the report’s characterization of our safety culture,” Chevron said in a statement. “We are confident that at all times during the Frade incident we acted appropriately and responsibly.”

The maritime lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  represent offshore workers injured in offshore drilling accidents.

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