Chevron staff barred from leaving Brazil

Chevron staff barred from leaving Brazil

BRASILIA - Agence France-Presse
Chevron staff barred from leaving Brazil

Chevron Brazil’s CEO George Buck is seen in Brasilia in this March 14 photo. REUTERS photo

A judge barred 17 Chevron executives from around the world from leaving Brazil in an oil spill investigation as prosecutors readied new charges over a second spill involving the U.S. energy giant, local media reported on March 17.

The Chevron brass -- five U.S. nationals, five Brazilians, three Australians, two French nationals, a Canadian and a Briton -- can only leave Brazil with court approval, Judge Vlamir Costa of Rio de Janeiro state ruled.

In November, Chevron was blamed for a major spill in the Frade Field area off Rio de Janeiro state, with Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP) calculating that some 3,000 barrels of crude were spilled.

Brazilian authorities as a result suspended all of Chevron’s drilling operations and denied it access to huge new offshore fields, which ANP says have reserves that could surpass 100 billion barrels of high-quality recoverable oil.

Earlier last week, Chevron reported a minor spill in the same area that caused it to stop production in Brazil. The company has not said if the two spills are related but authorities suspect the second was caused by the first.