New prosecutor also seeks to stop Chevron Brazil operations

Reese Ewing – Reuters, 04/19/2012

A new prosecutor in the case against Chevron Corp and drilling firm Transocean Ltd for an offshore oil spill said Thursday he will seek to suspend the companies’ operations in Brazil, a sign that he may be just as tough on the companies as his predecessor.

Prosecutor Celso de Albuquerque Silva said he was seeking the injunction on grounds that the companies’ activities are dangerous to the environment and society. Chevron and Transocean face a combined $22 billion in lawsuits, and several executives face prison, because of two incidents in which oil leaked off Brazil’s coast in November and March.

A similar request by a different prosecutor in the same court was rejected last Wednesday. In that case, the judge said any suspension was the responsibility of Brazil’s national petroleum agency, and therefore outside the court’s jurisdiction.

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