Chevron will clean up spill off Brazil’s coast



U.S. oil company Chevron will fully clean up a spill off Brazil’s coast, George Buck, the CEO of the local subsidiary said on Sunday, taking responsibility for an accident that has become a major test for one of the world’s fastest-growing oil frontiers.

About 18 vessels were supporting well-plugging operations and sheen cleanup, the company said in a later statement, adding that no new oil was being emitted.

Buck said the leak from the undersea well, owned in partnership with Brazil’s state-controlled Petrobras and a Japanese consortium, has been plugged.

“Chevron takes full responsibility for this incident,” Buck told reporters in Rio de Janeiro. “We will share the lessons learned here in the hope that this sort of incident won’t happen again in Brazil or anywhere else in the world.”

The spill, one of the largest to hit Brazil’s growing offshore oil industry has raised questions about its safety and ability to respond to accidents.

Oil companies in Brazil are testing the limits of drilling as they seek oil at depths as much as 7 kilometers (4.4 miles) below the ocean surface, putting equipment and people under strains often compared with those for space flight.

The stakes are large. Brazilian oil companies expect to produce about 7 million barrels of oil per day by 2020, most of offshore near Rio de Janeiro, an amount that would make Brazil the third largest oil producer after Russia and Saudi Arabia.

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