57 Oil Spills in Brazil in 2010

57 Oil Spills in Brazil in 2010

Oil spills in Brazil are more common than one thinks.  In 2010, the state recorded 57 spills, compared to 56 incidents in 2009. The volume of spilled oil and oil products grew by 163%, jumping from 1.597 barrels in 2009 to 4.201 barrels scattered in the wild last year, almost double the 2,400 barrels that have leaked from the well Chevron’s Frade field (Campos Basin), where Petrobras  owns 30% share.

The level of oil leaked from Petrobras’ facilities in 2010 was the highest in four years, according to a survey of Brazilian newspaper GLOBE based on their sustainability reports. The number was above the maximum permissible limit of 3.895 barrels, which is an annual index used by the state. Experts say companies are not investing enough in security systems and point out that the challenges are greatest in the pre-salt.

An environmental lawyer Beatrice Paulo de Frontin told to O Globo that there is a lack of tighter control on small leaks that occur not only on the platforms, but in pipelines, refineries, ships. She points out that sometimes, these spills are not considered accidents because they are small, and the information doesn’t even reach the newspapers, but they cause major damage.

The President of the Brazilian Petroleum Institute (IPB), France João Carlos de Luca, said to the press that oil companies are prepared to produce safely in deep water, as in the pre-salt. The executive pointed out that oil companies around the world invest heavily not only in new technologies not only, but in systems of prevention and containment of accidental oil leaks.

Offshore Energy Today Staff , November 28, 2011; Image: ANP