Just days after Chevron admitted responsibility for the release of thousands of barrels of oil off the coast of Brazil earlier this month -- the country's worst spill in recent memory -- the organization which oversees the petroleum industry has suspended the company's rights to drill there. According to the National Agency of Petroleum (ANP), Chevron proved negligent by drilling before properly studying the site, and not having a plan in place if something went wrong.
The ANP says until an investigation reveals the cause of the spill, and the area has been restored, Chevron will no longer have access to the oil-rich region, known as Frade field, some 250 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. For the US-based company with ambitions to exploit at least part of Brazil's recently discovered massive oil reserves in the coming years, the diminishing relations no doubt come as a blow.
According to Globo News, Chevron Brazil's president George Buck contacted the government to apologize for the spill which loosed an estimated 3,000 barrels of oil into the Atlantic:
"I sincerely apologize to the Brazilian population and the Brazilian government. I also ask apologize for not expressing myself in Portuguese. [...] We look forward to being partners in Brazil to do justice to the country's destiny to become a superpower. "
So far, for their part in the incident, Chevron has been fined only $28 million by Brazil's Environmental Protection agency, IBAMA, though other fines are expected to follow.