BRASILIA, April 7 Workers on Sunday nearly
finished cleaning up a handful of beaches drenched by marine
fuel after a small spill off the coast of the Brazilian state of
Sao Paulo, port authorities said.
The leak at the Almirante Barroso marine terminal in the
port of Sao Sebastiao was controlled on Friday, according to the
terminal operator Transpetro, the transportation arm of
state-run oil giant Petrobras.
Alexandre Motta de Sousa, the harbor master of the port of
Sao Sebastiao, said cleanup efforts were wrapping up.
"We were lucky because the climate helped contain the spread
of the leak," he said. "It was a small spill, but we still don't
have the calculations for the exact amount of fuel leaked."
A spate of oil spills off the shores of Brazil over the last
two years has raised safety concerns about the development of
some of the world's largest petroleum reserves.
A leak in Chevron's offshore Frade field in 2011 led the
company to shut down production and prompted criminal charges
against the No. 2 American oil company, its drilling contractor
Transocean and 17 of their employees. The criminal
charges were later dropped, but a civil a case that seeks about
$20 billion in damages continues.
Chevron and Transocean said they did nothing wrong
and are fighting the case. Brazil's oil regulator, ANP, said the
Frade field spill caused no discernable environmental damage.
Transpetro said it was investigating the cause of the leak
at its terminal. Marine fuel is lighter than fuel oil and can
evaporate more quickly than crude oil.