The oil exploration firms Chevron and Transocean have been given thirty days to suspend all mining activities and oil transportation in Brazil in view of an ultimatum issued by the Federal Regional Court of the State of Rio de Janeiro in response to an oil spill that occurred last November in a field in deep waters off the coast. If the two companies do not meet the deadline, the Court shall impose a fine of up to 500 million reais (about US$ 250 million) a day.
Chevron has already announced an appeal, while Transocean has not yet responded.
Chevron, which had stopped production in March, after a new oil leak a few miles from the original one, both occuring at the Frade well, was preparing to resume.
The court, however, saw “the need to suspend the activities of the two companies which did not cooperate, as they should have, in applying their technology to prevent or reduce serious damage caused by accident,” said the judge, Celso Albuquerque Silva.
For spilling about 3700 barrels of crude in the Atlantic, Chevron was imposed a fine of 50 million reais (24.7 million dollars) by the Brazilian Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA).
Another fine, the same value, has been announced in recent days by the Brazilian National Petroleum Authority (PNA).