One day after the world’s largest offshore oil rig sank into the ocean off the coast of Brazil, leaking crude and diesel, Brazilian state oil company Petrobras said on March 21st that the spill was being contained.
The 40-story rig was damaged during a series of explosions that killed ten people and the platform now lies at a depth of 1.35 kilometers.
The head of the company’s environmental department said that Petrobras had dispersed with chemicals and collected with equipment all but 3,200 gallons of the 81,600 gallons of oil and fuel that had been detected on the surface.
The platform had contained 316,000 gallons of diesel and 79,000 gallons of oil, and company officials indicated that more oil could rise to the surface, although in smaller amounts.
A company spokesman said that: “We have all means to contain the spill anyway and the environmental damage is relatively small.”
The accident-prone Petrobras is likely to face a multi-million dollar fine for the latest in a series of oil spills.
With the demise of the platform, the company has lost some 6 percent of its output this year, or about 90,000 b/d, and the accident is expected to cost Petrobras about $450 million in profits.
However, oil experts said that the loss would not hit the company hard, as Petrobras netted roughly $5 billion in 2000. Petrobras is expected to install a temporary rig on the Roncador field in the Campos Basin and to order a new platform that would be ready in about two years.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)