Transocean served ban [Oil & Gas News]NEW YORK:Al Bawaba Ltd.
Transocean said it was served with a preliminary injunction by a federal court in Brazil that would require the drilling contractor's nine rigs operating in waters off the country to cease operations in 30 days.
The ban stems from an oil spill last November in an offshore field operated by Chevron at a well drilled with a Transocean rig. The eight other Transocean rigs in Brazil work for Petrobras, including seven contracted to the state-led oil company and another subcontracted from BP. If not overturned, the ban could seriously disrupt exploration and drilling in one of the world's most promising offshore oil frontiers by removing about 13 per cent of Brazil's drilling fleet.
Petrobras chairwoman Maria das Gracas Foster has said that a lack of drilling rigs, even with Transocean's rigs operating, is one of the reasons production growth at her company has stalled despite a $237 billion, five-year expansion plan, the world's largest corporate spending programme. The Transocean ban is related to civil lawsuits seeking about $20 billion in damages from Transocean and Chevron for the spill in the Frade field, which leaked 3,600 barrels of oil into the sea northeast of Rio de Janeiro.
Transocean said it was "vigorously pursuing" a reversal of the injunction, including an appeal to the Superior Court of Justice.