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Chevron Says Brazil to Indict Employees Involved in Oil Leak

Brazil plans to indict Chevron Corp. employees involved in exploratory drilling that triggered an oil leak hundreds of miles offshore last month, the company said.

Chevron will defend its employees in the matter, Kurt Glaubitz, a spokesman for the San Ramon, California-based company, said today in an e-mailed statement.

Chevron, the second-largest U.S. energy company by market value, has been fined 50 million reais ($26.9 million) and ordered to halt all drilling and crude production off Brazil’s coast after oil seeped from sea floor fissures near its $3.6 billion Frade development.

“We will vigorously defend the company and its employees,” Glaubitz said in the e-mailed statement. “Chevron is confident that once all the facts are fully examined, they will demonstrate that Chevron responded appropriately and responsibly to the incident.”

Last month, Chevron estimated the volume of the seeps at 3,000 barrels (126,000 gallons) over the eight days it took for the company to locate and halt the leaks.

Exxon Mobil Corp. of Irving, Texas, is the biggest U.S. energy company by market value.

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