Pretty much a case of “So what?” since it was natural oil seeps that got drillers interested in the area in the first place
U.S. oil company Chevron discovered an oil seep in an offshore Brazilian oil field run by Petrobras near the site of a November leak that led to civil and criminal charges and sparked concerns about some of the world’s most promising deep sea reserves.
No traces have been found on the surface, but droplets of oil were found leaking from the seabed of Petrobras’ Roncador field, 500 meters away from Chevron’s adjacent Frade field, Brazilian regulator ANP said.
Chevron said it first detected the seep on Saturday.
Leaks in November and March at Frade led to the suspension of operations there, as well as lawsuits for more than $20 billion and criminal charges against Chevron and its drilling contractor Transocean.
The latest leak adds to questions about the charges against Chevron and stokes broader concerns about the safety and speed with which Brazil can develop giant new offshore oil resources.
The Campos basin, which includes Roncador and Frade, and the neighboring Santos basin contain an estimated 100 billion barrels of oil. Brazil hopes the region will help it produce more than 7 million barrels a day of oil by 2020, passing the United States to be the world’s No. 3 oil producer.