By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The president of Chevron for Africa and Latin America, Ali Moshiri, said on Thursday that the Frade oil field leak was under control and that the slick some 75 miles (120km) from the Rio coastline has now practically disappeared.

Ali Moshiri, Chevron's President for Africa and Latin America, after meeting Brazil's Energy Minister Edison Lobão
Chevron's Ali Moshiri highlighted the region’s “complex geology” and blamed Mother Nature for his company's troubles, photo by Valter Campanato/ABr

He said the U.S. oil giant is now concentrating on sealing the well at the center of the incident, which would now be abandoned, and that the any oil floating in the ocean amounted to one-tenth of a barrel (about four gallons or 16 liters).

Moshiri – who was in talks with Brazil’s Energy Minister, Edison Lobão – said that the company’s response had been “first-class” and that Chevron’s Brazilian subsidiary has one of the best safety records.

He also said that cause of the spill, which first came to light on November 8th, was as yet unknown and that investigations would continue, denying any issue of control within the company.

On Wednesday, the ANP – Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency – decided to suspend all drilling in the Frade oil field – which is completely operated by Chevron some 230 miles (370km) off the Rio de Janeiro state coastline.

The ANP has also rejected Chevron’s request to drill a new well to reach the pre-salt layer, saying that “pre-salt drilling poses risks of a similar nature to that at the affected well, only larger and deeper”.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with major news as it happens.


  1. Undeniably, Brazil is not new to oil or accidents. In 2001, the world’s biggest oil rig sank off Rio, capping a run of bad luck for state-controlled oil firm Petrobras that included spewing 340,000 gallons into one of Rio’s bays and twice that into a southern river in back-to-back accidents. The Chevron Corp.oil leak at Brazil’s Frade oil field off the Rio de Janeiro coast has initiated local outrage and investigations of the U.S. Company as it spewed 2,400 barrels of crude into the sea. It also has become a messy reminder that Brazil’s bid to reach affluence through oil may be costlier and more demanding than many here expected.


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