Brazil Court Orders Chevron, Transocean to Halt Operations

A Brazilian court ordered Chevron Corp. (CVX), the second-biggest U.S. energy company, and Transocean Ltd. (RIG) to halt operations in 30 days while investigations of two oil spills are conducted.

Each company will have to pay 500 million reais ($243 million) for each day it fails to comply with the order, the court said in an e-mailed statement. The halt will last until the federal prosecutors office, the country’s oil regulator and environmental agencies complete investigating oil spills in November and March, the court said.

Chevron had an oil spill at the Frade project off the coast of Brazil in November and identified oil seeps on the ocean floor in March. The company halted output at Frade in March and doesn’t produce at any other fields in Brazil. Transocean provided the drilling rig for the well that leaked and has nine rigs operating in the country, according to information on the company’s website.

Brazil’s oil regulator has estimated the size of the November oil spill at 3,700 barrels, while Chevron says it spilled about 2,400 barrels. There were no injuries in the drilling accident or damage to marine life, according to Chevron’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Millard in Rio de Janeiro at pmillard1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Attwood at jattwood3@bloomberg.net

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