Brazil: Chevron Oil Leak Larger Than Reported

on November 18 2011 6:12 PM

Brazil's environmental protection agency announced today Chevron Brazil's oil leak off the coast of Rio de Janeiro may be bigger than previously reported.

Chevron, since the spill was noticed last week, reported a total of 650 barrels of oil had leaked into the ocean. Brazilian officials, however, place that number at 2,600, meaning roughly 300 barrels of oil a day for eight days would have leaked into the South Atlantic.

On Nov. 14, Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff called for an investigation into the leak which was located several hundred miles offshore. Chevron was given permission last weekend to start plugging the well, and reported on Thursday that it was being cemented shut.

Speaking to the Associated Press Friday, an unnamed spokesperson for Brazil's Federal Police, which has opened an investigation into the leak, said the company drilled further than it was allowed to.

Carlos Minc, Rio state Environment Minister, has called for more transparency from the company, reported AP.

Lloyd Avram, manager of Chevron's corporate media relations, said Chevron is in constant communication with Brazilian officials. He said the volume of oil in the water as of Nov. 15 was calculated at 65 barrels and dropping. The number as of Friday he said was 18 barrels.

Avram said he was not sure how Brazilian officials calculated their estimated 2,600 barrels.