Chevron: Responsible for Oil Spill

This report is part of our former “Harmful Cases” documentation, where we continuously and concisely recorded human rights violations, violations of international law or environmental destruction caused by companies.

Environmental Hazard in Brazil

In November 2011, an oil spill of approximately 3,600 barrel occurred at drilling operations in an offshore field in Brazil. Operator was the US-based oil giant Chevron, the rigs were provided by the contractor Transocean. In response to the accident, Chevron was banned from operating in Brazilian territory for an indefinite period by a Brazilian court in 2012 while charges for damages are still under negotiation.

The ban was initiated by independent federal prosecutors. They seek nearly $ 20 billion in damages and allege 17 executives from Chevron and Transocean of crimes which carry jail terms of up to 31 years. Both corporations deny any criminal wrongdoing and underline that the spill caused no injury to humans, “no discernible environmental impact to marine life or human health”.

However, the company was persistently criticized by officials at the ministry and petroleum regulatory agencies for its poor information disclosure concerning the spill in its early days and its failure to provide adequate emergency equipment to deal with it.

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