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Staff evacuated after Transocean rig tilts off Rio

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Employees were briefly evacuated from a rig of drilling contractor Transocean in Guanabara Bay near Rio after the platform began tilting and taking water, the company said Sunday.

The official Agencia Brasil said nearly 100 staff of Transocean, the world's largest offshore drilling company, were taken off the platform following the overnight incident.

But in a statement released from the US city of Houston, Transocean said: "The water taken on by the GSF Arctic 1 (rig) has been stopped and is being pumped out. The rig is safe and stable, as are all its personnel."

"Some personnel who had been evacuated as a safety precaution have returned to the rig, as the situation is safe," it added.

Transocean said the platform was in Guanabara Bay for scheduled maintenance work and added that an investigation into the cause of the incident was underway.

Most of Transocean operations in Brazil are linked with those of US oil giant Chevron.

Brazilian prosecutors have demanded that Chevron and Transocean pay $10.9 billion dollars for a spill off southeastern Brazil in March.

The spill was detected at a depth of 1,300 meters (4,200 feet) in the Frade field not far from the site of a bigger spill that occurred in November.

State prosecutors have also filed legal action against Chevron and Transocean over the November spill, seeking $11 billion for what they have called "immeasurable" environmental damage.

 

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