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ANP: Chevron's Drilling Rights Remain Suspended

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Brazilian oil regulators will not allow U.S. oil major Chevron to resume offshore drilling because the company has not proved that the risk of accidents has been reduced, said the new head of the country's National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, Tuesday.

The ANP had suspended Chevron's drilling rights in November, after an accident caused an estimated 2,400 to 3,000 barrels of oil to seep from the seabed. Chevron submitted its report on the accident to ANP officials last week, but regulators did not agree with the company's conclusion about the causes, ANP Director Magda Chambriard told reporters. The ANP's press office confirmed Chambriard's remarks.

Chambriard was named to replace Haroldo Lima last week.

Chevron needs to prove to the ANP that it has properly identified the causes of the accident and also reduced the risks that future accidents could happen, Chambriard said. Chevron and the ANP continue to discuss the accident report, Chambriard said, declining to give more details.

While there's no doubt that Chevron is a good company, they do not yet have the adequate capacity to operate in Brazil, Chambriard said.

Brazil wants investments from big and small oil companies, both foreign and Brazilian, but they have to act in a responsible manner and follow Brazil's rules for operational safety, Chambriard said.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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