Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petrobras has taken legal action to suspend a court order barring U.S. oil supermajor Chevron Corp. and drilling contractor Transocean from operating in the South American country because of an oil spill.
Petrobras, which uses seven of Transocean’s rigs and has contracted an eighth that has not yet been put into service, said in a statement that if the two companies are expelled from Brazil it would have an adverse effect on its production and exploration activities.
The Brazilian company also said it is considering “alternative measures” to mitigate the impact of the loss of the rigs.
Transocean said it received the court order Thursday giving it 30 days to halt all operations in Brazil. The Switzerland-based offshore drilling contractor said it has appealed the decision.
The ban was imposed by the Federal Tribunal of Rio de Janeiro because of a minor oil spill last November at the Frade field, where 3,700 barrels of crude were spilled some 120 kilometers (75 miles) off the coast of the southeastern state of Rio de Janeiro.
The oil seeped through cracks in the ocean floor near an area where Chevron was conducting drilling operations using Transocean rigs.
The Switzerland-based company said after receiving the court order that it was “vigorously pursuing the overturn or suspension of the preliminary injunction.”
On Thursday, Chevron said in a statement it paid a 35.1 million reais ($17 million) fine imposed by Brazil’s ANP oil regulator for the crude spill.
The company said it made the payment on Sept. 21 without lodging an appeal.
The fine corresponded to 24 of the 25 infractions that the regulator found at the Frade field.