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Back in November 2011, around 3,600 barrels of crude oil leaked from the Frade field off the northeast coast of Rio de Janeiro, just near to where Chevron (CVX) and Transocean (RIG) where drilling for oil; both were blamed, and last July, in the largest environmental case in Brazil’s history, they were both banned from performing any business in Brazil.
The Brazilian oil regulator, the ANP, has admitted that it could never consider any petitions to permit operations to restart in the Frade field whilst the ban still held.
Since then Chevron has been working on a way to overturn the injunction and earn permission to continue its oil production activities in the South American country.
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They may just have received the boost that they were looking for after the appeals-court of Brazil's Second Regional Federal Tribunal in Rio de Janeiro decided to overturn the ban.
As part of plans to regain permits to work in Brazil, Chevron and Transocean have also been working with the prosecutors to try and agree on a plan for changing offshore safety and operating procedures, which they hope will prove that they are willing to change. The agreement known as the “change of conduct accord” was an idea from the companies which they hoped would buy them favour in the eyes of their prosecutors.
Chevron’s hopes remain high due to the fact that no one was hurt in the Frade accident; no oil reached the shore or caused any discernible environmental damage; and tests determined that the leaks were not from Chevron’s reservoirs in the Frade field.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com