Asahi Associates - Chevron Corp. have agreed to pay a $17.3 million fine to the Brazilian regulator for a November oil spill.
The second largest U.S. oil company, Chevron agreed a deal with Brazil's petroleum regulators to pay 35.1 million real (around $17.3 million) as a result of irregularities from a previous oil spill. A spokesman for Brazil's National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, is believed to have commented to Asahi Associates that Chevron will receive a 30 percent discount on the fine.
The 30 percent reduction is allowed by Brazilian law, as Chevron did not challenge any of the 24 violations that the ANP found in the Fade Field (northeast of Rio de Janeiro) and agreed to pay promptly. The discount will reduce Chevron's fine to 24.6 million reals (just over $12.1 million).
A person familiar with the decision making process of Chevron in Brazil allegedly told Asahi Associates that they (Chevron) did not contest the violations and agreed to pay the fine as they want to quickly solve all the issues at the Frade Field and return to operations as soon as possible.
In the first quarter of the year, traces of oil were found floating in the exploration area, leading Chevron to halt all production at the Frade Field. Both Chevron and ANP concluded that the oil was not from Frade.
Chevron and its drilling contractor Transocean, are also facing a civil suit for $20 billion as well as criminal charges in relation to the spill in the last quarter of the year, which saw 3,600 barrels of oil leak into the ocean. An injunction was also issued banning the companies from operating in Brazil until after the court cases.
Chevron and Transocean reportedly conveyed to Asahi Associates that they are innocent of the charges, that the damages are completely out of proportion and will seek to challenge the injunction.