Brazil, Latin America: Week in Review

Brazilian Prosecutors File Criminal Charges Against Chevron And Transocean

March 22, 2012 By Staff

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Brazilian federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against seventeen Chevron and Transocean oil executives on Wednesday for an oil leak that caused 110,000 gallons of oil to seep into waters off the coast of Rio de Janeiro in November.  The seventeen defendants, who could face jail time and $555,555 in individual fines, hail from the U.S., Brazil, France, Australia, Britain and Canada and include the Brazilian heads of Chevron and Transocean. While experts debate whether the ruling will adversely impact foreign investment in oil exploration in Brazil, the environment minister for Rio de Janeiro state told reporters that he didn’t think the Brazilian government’s reaction to the leak was “excessively rigorous” and said that Chevron acted imprudently by developing an area of the ocean floor without properly estimating the pressure in the underground reservoir the oil seeped from. Chevron has denied any wrongdoing. Oilfields off the coast of Brazil could hold 50 billion barrels of oil and have the potential to make Brazil one of the biggest oil producers in the world.

Read more from the Los Angeles Times.

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