Brazil prosecutor charges Petrobras over 2011 spill

Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:08pm EDT

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* No monetary value mentioned for fines, compensation

* Charges come amid high-profile case vs Chevron, Transocean

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 24 (Reuters) - A prosecutor from Brazil's Public Ministry has charged state-run oil company Petrobras with environmental crimes for a spill at its Duque de Caxias refinery that allegedly contaminated the mangroves and estuary of Guanabara Bay off Rio de Janeiro.

Public Prosecutor Renato Machado also charged two employees of Petrobras in a statement released on Monday.

The spill occurred in June 2011.

"The Reduc (refinery) acted with complete negligence. They knew since 2007 at least that the treatment stations were obsolete and not functioning adequately and they did nothing," Machado said.

The prosecutor did not mention a fine or compensation value sought.

Local courts are considering charges against U.S. oil company Chevron and driller Transocean that could carry fines of up to $20 billion and possible jail time for foreign executives in relation to a spill last November off the coast of Brazil.

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