Sedco 706:Transocean halt lifted

Sedco 706

Brazil has lifted an injunction to suspend offshore drilling by contractor Transocean, relating to a November 2011 oil spill in the Frade offshore field northeast of Rio de Janeiro.

Chevron had contracted Transocean's Sedco 706 rig, but Brazil's oil regulator ANP said in a July report that Transocean had no responsibility for the spill.

If it had remained, the injunction would have shut down Transocean's 10 drilling rigs operating in Brazilian waters, eight of them under contract by Petrobras, by Oct. 27. The court said there are 72 rigs operating in Brazil.

Fischer accepted ANP's argument that losses in revenue to Petrobras and the government in royalties would amount to more than 6.7 billion reais ($3.8 billion) over two years if Transocean's rigs were suspended from operating."The original injunction was groundless and targeted Transocean unfairly," a Transocean spokesman said. "The company and its employees were completely exonerated by ANP's investigation which concluded that the leak resulted from geological factors and was totally unrelated to the actions of the Transocean rig crew."

The Transocean ban is related to a lawsuit seeking nearly $20 billion from it and Chevron Corp .
The ban on Transocean remains in force in Frade. Chevron and Transocean say they were not negligent in the spill and are fighting the lawsuits and related criminal charges.
[August 3]A Brazilian court on August 1 ordered Chevron Corp. (CVX) and Transocean to halt their activities in Brazil in 30 days or face daily fines of 500 million Brazilian reais ($250 million). The court decision is part of ongoing cases related to a drilling accident last November at the Chevron-operated Frade offshore oil field. The accident caused an estimated 3,700 barrels of crude to seep from cracks in the seabed. Chevron voluntarily halted production at the field in March, when a second set of seepage was discovered at the field.
Magda Chambriard, head of the ANP, said during a Senate hearing that irregularities in the company's activities found by a Brazilian court were "light" and they "weren't reason for the discontinuing of the company's operations," according to comments posted on the Senate's website.

[December 12,2011] Brazil sues Transocean for $10.6 billion:The suit, which includes Chevron, could jeopardize oil companies' plans to step up their presence in Brazil after the discovery of huge offshore reserves several kilometers (miles) beneath the ocean floor estimated at 50 billion barrels or more.

Reaching that oil will be technically challenging but Brazil expects it will push its crude output to 7 million barrels a day by 2020. That could see it challenge the United States for the rank of world No. 3 oil producer after Russia and Saudi Arabia.

It also risks alarming foreign oil companies eager to expand in one of the world's fastest-growing oil frontiers, where state-controlled oil company Petrobras accounts for more than 90 percent of the output, and government leaders are moving to assert even greater control of natural resources.

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