Petrobras Sends 20 Ships To Monitor Oil Spill
Petrobras moved about 200 men and 20 ships to monitor oil spilled offshore after the world's biggest rig was rocked by blasts and sank earlier this month. On March 15, three blasts ripped through Petrobras' 40-storey platform, the world's biggest oil rig, killing 11 and spilling about 11,000 gallons of diesel oil.
Petrobras has mobilized 11,000 m of retaining barriers, 21 oil collecting units, 18 suction pumps and 40,000 liters of dispersing chemical agent to the platform off the coast of Rio state, the firm said in a statement. "Luckily for everybody it was not an environmental disaster," said Carlos Henrique Mendes, regional director for Brazil's state environmental institute, Ibama. "We think all of the diesel already leaked out and it is contained." The rig had 316,000 gallons of diesel on board and 79,000 gallons of crude in the pipelines connecting the wells to the processing plants. Petrobras lost six percent of its daily output with the rig, and is expected to take a hit of up to $450 million in its 2001 earnings. - (Reuters)