In another example of big oil companies polluting the environment, Chevron has been implicated in a major oil spill off the coast of Brazil. Both the company and several key executives are potentially liable.
To date, the US oil giant has not paid “a single cent” for two fines totaling $54 million imposed after the November spill, Minc said, announcing new measures requiring companies to disclose the main conclusions of their geological studies.
News Source: NINEMSN
The country’s national oil regulator estimates that 2,400 barrels of crude were spilled in the accident, which led authorities to suspend all of Chevron’s drilling operations and to deny the company access to huge new offshore fields.
The US firm rejected Wednesday’s charges as “outrageous and without merit” and vowed to defend itself and its employees.
The prosecutors said in a statement that it was charging “Chevron, oil drilling contractor Transocean and 17 executives with environmental crime and damage in connection with the oil spill.”
George Buck, the president of Chevron’s Brazil unit, and three other company officials “sought to frustrate the work of the prosecution by presenting a misleading emergency plan,” and by “altering documents shown to the authorities,” it is alleged.
Prosecutors called for a “freeze on all assets of the accused, including 11 senior officials and employees from Chevron and five from Transocean,” and an environmental expert. A judge will decide if the executives are to face trial.
“The charges are based on conclusions of the police investigation into the November 7 2011 accident which occurred because the accused did not respect safety procedures,” state prosecutor Eduardo Santos de Oliveira told reporters.
The oil spill “affected the entire maritime ecosystem, which could lead to the extinction of species, as well as the region’s economic activities, in addition to damage caused to the state,” he added.
The prosecutors called for payment of bail of $550,000 for each person accused and $5.5 million for each company.