Brazilian president Dilma Rouseff released a statement asking for an investigation into the recent oil spill near an expansive deepwater drilling project by Chevron. Rouseff called for an extensive inquiry into the possible causes and responsibility for an oil spill that was detected on Thursday, November 10th.
Chevron, one of six major worldwide oil companies, sent out an email before the presidential statement stating that oil sheen was viewed off the coast near Chevron Brazil’s Frade project, a deepwater drilling project. The sheen, caused by oil settling atop the water that appears to shimmer, is projected to range between 400 and 650 barrels, or about 16,800 – 27,300 gallons of gasoline. The sheen is in the Campos basis 230 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro.
Chevron’s own investigations utilizing underwater vehicles revealed a seep, an opening from which hydrocarbons are naturally released from underground. Chevron closed a well near the seeps and is still investigation their cause. Chevron was quick to notify authorities and relevant government agencies of the spill and pledged to work rapidly to minimize any potential environmental effects.
In the wake of last year’s BP oil spill, oil companies and governments are reacting much more quickly and aggressively to prevent or contain possible oil spills. Though this recent Brazilian oil spill falls extremely short of the extent of last year’s spill, officials are taking no chances. Brazil is currently undertaking a massive deep sea oil plan that would substantially increase its current output of 2 million barrels a day.