US oil giant Chevron has been fined $17.5 million for a major spill off Rio de Janeiro state last year, Brazilian officials say. National Petroleum Agency (ANP) Director Magda Chambriard told reporters at a press conference on Monday that the fine, which was handed down last week, covered 24 of the 25 infractions ANP cited Chevron for earlier this year. “There is one (missing fine) related to the abandonment of the well. The maximum limit is one million reais under the law," Chambriard said on the sidelines of the Rio Oil & Gas 2012 conference. She added that the fine would be imposed "in the next two months.” She also stated out that an additional fine of $50,000 could be given to the corporation for "other items."
A drilling accident last November in the Chevron-operated Frade field off Rio de Janeiro state caused an estimated 2,400 barrels of crude to seep into the Atlantic Ocean from cracks in the seabed.ANP released a report in July in which it accused Chevron of negligence, saying the company could have avoided the spill. In August, a Brazilian court imposed a ban on operations by Chevron and its drilling contractor, Transocean Ltd. The two companies also face civil lawsuits and criminal charges related to the spill. MN/HGL