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Chevron to pay $150 million in Brazil oil spill case

Prosecutors had sought up to $20 million in damages in connection with the 3,600 barrel spill

Chevron Corp. has agreed to pay roughly $150 million to settle Brazilian civil lawsuits stemming from a November 2011 oil spill.

The 3,600 barrel spill, which occurred in the Frade oil field near Rio de Janeiro, led to the largest environmental prosecution in Brazil’s history, as prosecutors initially sought up to $20 billion in damages. In August, a three-judge panel in Brazil upheld an injunction banning Chevron and its drilling contractor Transocean Ltd. from conducting business in Brazil.

Chevron, however, argued against the hefty damages, arguing that there was no measurable harm to marine animals as a result of the spill. ANP, Brazil’s oil regulator, also found that none of the oil reached shore, although it did collect $17 million fines from the company in connection with the spill.

Brazil’s government news service, Agencia Brasil, said that $45 million of the settlement money will go toward cleanup efforts, while $110 million will be used to prevent future spills. The settlement does not resolve a criminal case against Chevron, Transocean and 17 of the companies’ executives.

Read more at Thomson Reuters and Fox Business.

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