www.bbc.co.uk 20th November 2011
The US oil giant Chevron have admitted full responsibility for an oil spill off the Brazilian coast that regulators say has spilt 416,400 litres since it began 2 weeks ago. The company claim they underestimated the pressure of underwater oil deposits resulting in the fossil fuel to rush up the bore hole and seep into the ocean through the seabed. Although Chevron have said the spill has now been capped, its head of Brazilian operations, George Buck, stated that residual oil flow was still coming from undersea rock. Initial reports by the company suggested as little as 400-650 barrels of oil had been lost but this was revised when international environmental monitoring group Skytruth studied satellite images and reported the ‘the spill was many times bigger’. Police are also investigating the methods Chevron was using to clean up the spill amid reports that they were pushing it to the bottom of the sea rather than corralling and collecting it. Brazilian Energy Minister Edison Lobao has promised that Chevron would be “severely punished” if it was found to have failed in its environmental responsibilities. Brazil has recently discovered large oil reserves in its deeper waters that could make the country one of the top five oil producers in the world.