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    Brazil to fine Chevron for oil spill

    News // November 23, 2011

    Brazil has announced it is fining US oil company Chevron US$28 million (17.9 million) for causing an oil spill off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

    According to BBC News Online, Chevron has accepted responsibility, saying it had underestimated the pressure of underwater oil deposits while drilling.

    Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said Chevron could face further fines if an investigation into the spill revealed more infractions. Chevron says the leak has been plugged.

    The head of Chevron's Brazil operation, George Buck, said the company had underestimated the pressure of underwater oil deposits while drilling, causing oil to rush up the bore hole and seep into the surrounding seabed.

    Mr Buck said the leak had been plugged, but that there continued to be a residual oil flow from undersea rock near the well in the Frade oil project, 370km (230 miles) off the Brazilian coast.

    According to Brazil's National Petroleum Agency (ANP), the leak released between 200 and 330 barrels a day at the height of the spill. The head of the ANP, Haroldo, Lima said the accident was "serious, but not major".

    He said there was "no comparison" between this spill and last year's disaster at BP's Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, where 11 people died and some 3,000 barrels a day were leaked.

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