March 23, 2012
Chevron identified a small new seep in the Frade Field in March 2012. The company is conducting a comprehensive technical study to better understand the geological features of the area. The new seep is in a separate part of the field from the location of the incident in November 2011. The sites are 3 km apart on opposite sides of the field and the main Frade fault.
The first seep incident was related to a pressure kick experienced during the drilling of a development well. The second seep, with a sheen totaling less than one barrel, occurred when no drilling was being done. Oil samples collected from the second seep and analyzed by the IPEX lab in Brazil and reviewed by Chevron indicate that the oil is not from the Frade production reservoir.
The oil from the newly discovered seeps has different chemical properties than samples collected from either the November seeps related to the drilling incident or from other producing wells within the Frade Field. Further, it does not contain drilling mud that would have indicated it was from the drilling process. The samples also confirmed that the oil coming from seeps discovered in March 2012 is much heavier than the oil from the November 2011 incident.
March 21, 2012
Chevron Brasil Responds to Charges Against Employees in Brazil
Chevron Brasil issued the following statement in response to charges levied today against 12 of its employees in Brazil by a federal public prosecutor. The charges relate to a spill incident which occurred offshore Brazil in November 2011:
"These charges are outrageous and without merit. Once all the facts are fully examined, they will demonstrate that Chevron and its employees responded appropriately and responsibly to the incident. Chevron will vigorously defend the company and its employees.
"Chevron has collaborated transparently and completely with all the appropriate Brazilian government authorities. This has included providing relevant information on the incident and timely transportation to the incident site for several National Petroleum Agency officials, federal police officers and other authorities.
"There is no technical or factual evidence demonstrating any willful or negligent conduct by Chevron or its employees associated with the incident. We have sought to perform our operations in full compliance with Brazilian laws and industry practices and to comply with all applicable licenses and authorizations.
"Protecting the environment is a core Chevron value and it has been one of our primary concerns. Continuous monitoring of the incident area shows no environmental impact to marine life. No oil reached Brazil's coast. No persons were harmed as a result of the incident, and there is no technical basis for assuming that there is any risk to human health.
"Ongoing monitoring indicates that the seepage has been reduced to intermittent droplets, now being captured in great part by specially built containment devices. Regular reports are being provided to Brazilian authorities."
March 17, 2012, 6 p.m. PST
Video Showing Intermittent Flow of Seep
On March 14, 2012, Chevron Brasil identified a second seep source and limited sheen in the Frade Field. Upon discovery, containment devices were deployed to collect the small, infrequent droplets. This video shows the intermittent droplets before the containment device was put in place. A photo of the containment device capturing this seep activity is below.