Latin America & Caribbean

Chevron faces $10.6bn Brazil legal suit over oil spill

A supply boat working around the oil spill off the coast of Brazil
Chevron says it got the leak under control on 13 November

Prosecutors in Brazil are demanding $10.6bn (£6.8bn) from US oil company Chevron for environmental damage caused when one of its oil wells leaked off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

The prosecutors also asked the court to immediately suspend the operations of Chevron and its drilling contractor, Transocean, in Brazil.

Brazil has already fined Chevron $28m for the spill on 8 November.

A Chevron official said the company had not yet been notified of the suit.

The prosecutors who brought the case argued that "Chevron and Transocean weren't capable of controlling the damages from a spill of 3,000 barrels of oil, which proves a lack of environmental planning and management".

They also accused Chevron of keeping information from Brazil's oil regulator, known by its initials ANP.

Chevron has been banned from drilling any new wells for at least three months, while the ANP investigates the spill.

Chevron has accepted full responsibility for the leak.

The company said it had underestimated the pressure of underwater oil deposits while drilling, causing oil to rush up the bore hole and seep into the surrounding seabed.

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