UPDATE 1-Brazil, Chevron investigate leak near Frade

Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:18pm GMT

* Brazil's ANP oil regulator investigating leak
    * ANP says leak one km from Chevron's Frade field
    * Company checking whether oil leaked from crack in seabed
   (Adds details, background, changes dateline from SAO PAULO)
    RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Brazil's oil regulator
ANP and Chevron's local subsidiary are investigating a reported
oil leak located near Chevron's offshore Frade field.
    The ANP said on Thursday the oil on the ocean's surface was
located about one kilometer from Chevron's Frade field which
began production in 2009 and averaged 50,000 barrels per day of
output in 2010.
    Chevron (CVX.N: Quote) spokesman Scott Walker said the company was
aware of the oil sheen between its Frade field and one of
Brazil's biggest producing fields, the Roncador, operated by
the state-run oil company Petrobras (PETR4.SA: Quote).
    "Chevron is investigating the source of the oil sheen. All
the appropriate actions to respond are being taken. As soon as
we have further information we will notify," Walker told
Reuters by email.
    There were no further details, Walker said.
    A press officer at the company said it was investigating
the possibility that the oil leaked from a crack in the
    The Frade field lies about 230 miles (370 km) from the
northeast coast of Rio de Janeiro state and its output feeds
into a floating production, storage and offloading vessel
(FPSO), according to details on Chevron's Web site.
    The company has been drilling to add five more development
wells and three injection wells to the project on top of the
existing eight development and four injection wells.
    The oil giant owns a 51.7 percent stake in Frade, Petrobras
owns a 30 percent slice and the remainder belongs to the Frade
Japao Petroleo consortium.
    The spill is in the Campos Basin that accounts for the bulk
of Brazil's oil output off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state.
    Brazil's oil output is expected to leap from around 2
million barrels of crude per day at present, once vast offshore
reserves lying at depths of around 7 kilometers beneath the
seabed come on stream.
    The ANP tightened regulations for offshore oil production
in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010 which
dumped millions of barrels of crude into the ocean following an
explosion on a BP (BP.L: Quote) platform.
    (Reporting by Brian Ellsworth, Reese Ewing and Sabrina
Lorenzi and Peter Murphy; editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid)
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