This is pretty funny. As our cousin Lungs of the Earth reported here, Brazil has been eager to go after Chevron and beat up on the evil Yankee while ignoring any possible screwups by hometown hero Petrobras.
Yesterday, Petrobras CEO Maria das Gracas Foster says Chevron must “provide the official response to a lawsuit over last month’s offshore oil spill at a field in which the two companies operate as partners,” Dow Jones reported.
Today, Chevron responded — in its own sly way. As Bloomberg puts it, “Petroleo Brasileiro … reported a seep … near the Chevron Corp. (CVX) field where 3,000 barrels leaked into the Atlantic Ocean in November. Drops of crude were detected coming out of the seabed at the Roncador area… Chevron discovered the oil seep at the Roncador field, operated by Petrobras, on April 7 while examining the ocean floor near its Frade project and determined it was outside its concession area.”
Funny response. And yes, everyone agrees that this appears to be a seep, and oil seeps exist all over the world, and there’s a big difference between a few drops of oil and 3,000 barrels. But still. If 3,000 barrels of oil is worth an $11 billion fine, that works out to, um, wow: $87,000 a gallon. Somehow I doubt the regulators will hit Petrobras with such a fine. Happy to be proved wrong!