Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP) fined Chevron Corp. $17.3 million for its role in an offshore oil spill last year.
The fine covers 24 of 25 sanctions the agency issued against Chevron earlier this year, and could actually go up when a decision comes down on the final sanction. The fine could increase by up to $990,000 when a decision comes down on the remaining infraction, said ANP Director Magda Chambriard. The remaining infraction covers abandonment of a well and a decision should occur in two months, she said.
An estimated 3,700 barrels of oil leaked into the ocean from the Frade field last November, and Brazil charged several Chevron executives with various crimes, including altering documents and breaches of regulations.
Chevron and the drilling company Transocean Ltd. are also facing civil and criminal lawsuits related to the spill.
In addition, the two companies are appealing an operating ban imposed by a Brazilian court in late July. The ANP has also appealed the ban, claiming that it would cause safety issues and economic harm as well as usurp the regulator’s jurisdiction over the local oil industry. Brazil’s Supreme Court last week denied the ANP’s appeal, but Chambriard said that the agency would appeal the ruling.
Chevron halted operations at Frade in March, when they found a second series of oil seeps. Despite troubles at Frade, the ANP has said it would discuss restarting output at the field with Chevron.