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By Stephen Eisenhammer, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Brazil's National Petroleum Agency (ANP) plans to raise the fines companies will have to pay in the event of oil spills, reflecting the country's concern over the environmental consequences of the steep increase in off-shore drilling operations.

The ANP announced Monday that it wants to up the minimum fine to R$30 million (approximately US$14.5 million) from R$5 million, with the possibility of companies being forced to pay as much as R$150 million in the case of major accidents resulting in deaths.

The . . .

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