Brazil Federal Prosecutor Sues Chevron, Transocean For BRL20B Damages

SAO PAULO (Dow Jones Newswires), Dec. 14, 2011

Brazil's federal prosecutor on Wednesday said it wants Chevron Corp (CVX) and Transocean Ltd (RIG, RIGN.VX) to shut down operations in Brazil, as it sues the two firms for 20 billion Brazilian reais ($11 billion) in damage allegedly caused by an oil spill in early November.

The prosecutor's office in Campos, Rio de Janeiro state, has brought suit against Chevron and Transocean for the alleged environmental damage, and also wants a court injunction to stop the two firms' operations while the broader case continues, according to a statement posted on the prosecutor's web site.

The drilling accident on Nov. 7 caused an oil spill at the Frade oil field, which lies in deep Atlantic waters off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state.

The prosecutor, Eduardo Santos de Oliveira, found that Chevron and Transocean "weren't able to control the damage caused by the spill of nearly 3,000 barrels of oil, which shows a lack of planning and environmental management by the companies," according to the statement.

The statement said the prosecutor will hold a press conference on Thursday. 

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