Petrobras lowers platform output after oil leak
* Petrobras reports 30 barrels oil spilled from P-43
* Platform trimmed production to 75,000 bpd over Barracuda field
* Latest in a series of spills off the Brazilian coast
SAO PAULO, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Brazilian oil company Petrobras said on Thursday it reduced output from the offshore P-43 production platform after it leaked about 30 barrels of oil into the sea.
It's the latest in a series of small spills in one of the world's most promising new oil frontiers that have elicited fines ranging from tens of million to several billions of dollars and even criminal indictments against some oil company executives.
The state-controlled oil company said in a statement that production from the P-43 offshore platform in the Campos Basin was eased back to 75,000 barrels a day from 90,000 after a pipe developed a leak on Monday.
"The crew aboard the installation is operating under precautionary conditions. Production of the unit did not need to be interrupted, but only reduced," Petrobras said in a note.
Petrobras said it had informed authorities at the National Petroleum Agency (ANP), the Federal Environmental Agency (Ibama) and the Navy about the spill from the platform that is located over its Barracuda oil field.
Petrobras sent emergency response teams to the area to contain and disperse any potential slick. Authorities have announced no fines against the company yet for the spill.
"As the volume and the fine nature of the slick makes collection of the oil impossible, efforts to disperse the slick with ships were undertaken," the company said.
In November, U.S. oil major Chevron suffered a pressure kick from a well in its Frade field that caused between 2,400 and 3,000 barrels of oil to leak out of the ocean floor into the sea. Regulators and public prosecutors have imposed or recommended more than $11 billion in fines as well as criminal prosecution of executives.
Petrobras reported two other minor spills in the past couple months off the coast of Brazil that have incurred tens of million of reais in fines from Ibama and the ANP.
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