Monday, November 21, 2011

Chevron Corporation takes responsibility for Brazilian oil spill

 By Waldirene Biernath

Chevron Corporation announced it is taking full responsibility for the oil leak that occurred off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

An ongoing oil spill off the Brazilian coast occurred because 
Chevron underestimated the pressure in an underwater reservoir.
"Chevron takes full responsibility for this incident," said George Buck, Chevron Brazil country manager, in an official statement released on Sunday night. "We are committed to deploying resources until the sheen can no longer be detected."

At least 18 vessels are working around the clock to clean up the oil sheen from the surface of the water. The company assessed the sheen at 18 barrels of oil, according to Chevron's statement.

Chevron is calculating the total volume of oil seeped into the South Atlantic since the leak was first reported Nov. 8, and said it should know within several days.

Brazil's National Petroleum Agency said 5,000 to 8,000 barrels of oil were leaked after an appraisal well cracked the ocean floor.

Brazil is expected to fine Chevron nearly $28 million for an ongoing offshore oil spill, Rio de Janeiro state's environment secretary said Monday.

Carlos Minc said the national government will also ask Chevron to pay for damages caused by the Atlantic spill.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was expected to meet with the national environmental minister and its mines and energy minister later Monday to discuss the oil spill and determine the government's actions.

George Buck, chief operating officer for Chevron's Brazilian division, said the spill occurred because Chevron underestimated the pressure in an underwater reservoir.

Brazil's worst oil disaster was in 1975, when an oil tanker from Iraq dumped more than 8 million gallons of crude into the bay and caused Rio's famous beaches to be closed for nearly three weeks.


spill (noun): an amount of liquid that has accidentally flowed out of its container;
leak (noun): an amount of liquid or gas that comes out of a hole or crack in something;
sheen (noun): a shine on the surface of something;
assess (verb): to calculate what something costs or is worth;
fine (verb): to make someone pay an amount of money as punishment for breaking the law;
appraisal: The phase of petroleum operations that immediately follows successful exploratory drilling. During appraisal, delineation wells might be drilled to determine the size of the oil or gas field and how to develop it most efficiently;
well (noun): a deep hole or shaft dug or drilled to obtain water or oil or gas or brine.
crude (noun): oil that is still in its natural state and has not yet been refined for use by chemical processes


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