The top executive of Brazilian state oil giant Petrobras on Tuesday defended his company's acceptance of an industry achievement award despite suffering the loss of the world's largest deepwater oil rig in March. Petrobras president and CEO Philippe Reichstul dedicated the 2001 Offshore Technology Conference Distinguished Award for Companies and Organizations to the 11 workers who died when two explosions rocked the P-36 rig on March 15. Reichstul said Petrobras accepted the award because it recognizes the company's advances in subsea production systems, not the drilling platform proper. The subsea systems were not damaged in the sinking, he said. "We've been amazed by the way everything is impeccable subsea," Reichstul said at the 2001 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) yesterday. The conference's board awarded Petrobras for advancements in deepwater technology and the economic plans employed to develop the Roncador field off of Brazil's coast, the 2001 OTC chairman said. "We offer our sincere condolences to (the victims') families. OTC continues with its plans to recognize Petrobras as the recipient," of the award, the chairman said.