World's Biggest Oil Platform May Sink

Thursday, March 15, 2001
The world's biggest oil platform, owned by Brazil's state oil giant Petrobras, may sink, sending the death toll to 10 after two powerful explosions rocked the rig earlier Thursday, Petrobras president said. Petrobras President Henri Philippe Reichstul also said the nine workers missing since the blasts have little chance of survival, which would bring the death toll to 10. "The platform is listing 30 degrees and could sink," Reichstul told a press conference in Macae, Rio de Janeiro in a statement reported by Petrobras press department. Early Thursday morning, two powerful blasts rocked the rig, which stood 40 storeys high some 78 miles (125 km) off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state in the Roncador oil field in the Campos Basin, which produces most of Brazil's oil. The platform has capacity to produce 180,000 barrels of crude per day, though it was so far only pumping out about 80,000 barrels per day, or 5 percent of Brazil's total. - (Reuters)
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