(Adds response from Petrobras)
RIO DE JANEIRO, April 24 (Reuters) - Four Petrobras oil platforms off the northeast coast of Brazil have halted production after a leak of about 7,000 liters of oil was detected coming from a pipeline linking them, a local oil workers union head said on Friday.
Brazil’s oil regulator, ANP, confirmed the leak in the Camorim field, 16 kilometers (10 miles) off the coast of the city of Aracajú, and said it had been contained by Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as Petrobras is formally known.
Stoessel Chagas, director of the Sindipetro-ES, which represents Petrobras offshore oil workers in Brazil’s Alagoas and Sergipe state, said the leak was detected coming from a pipeline linking the PCM-5 and PCM-6 production platforms.
Petrobras confirmed the spill in a statement, adding that even though nearly all of the oil had been collected or dispersed, the company expects some small particles to reach shore.
Petrobras said it expects to complete repairs of the leak on Friday.
The four platforms that halted output are PCM-5, PCM-6, PCM-8 and PCM-9, which together produce 400 barrels of oil and 60,000 cubic meters of natural gas a day, according to ANP data.
Chagas, who confirmed that the leak had been contained, said production from the platforms was expected to resume by Saturday.
“The little leaks from these platforms are constant due to the lack of maintenance,” said Chagas, who added that Petrobras has been using clamps to plug the leaks. “We joke that there is more clamp than pipeline” in the system, he said.
The ANP said it was in contact with the Brazilian navy, which is monitoring the dispersion of the oil slick. It added that it may open an investigation of the incident and will continue to monitor the situation. (Reporting by Marta Nogueira; Writing by Reese Ewing and Jeb Blount; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Peter Galloway and Dan Grebler)