Transocean: Brazil oil rig evacuated


Greenpeace activists protest against an oil spill in waters off Rio de Janeiro state days ago, on November 18, 2011 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazilian authorities warned US energy giant Chevron Thursday that it faces severe punishment if it fails to completely seal an offshore well that has been seeping oil in waters off Rio de Janeiro state.



SÃO PAULO, Brazil — About 100 workers were evacuated from a Transocean oil rig off the coast of Rio de Janeiro late Saturday because of a tilting platform.

An inclination of three degrees on the oil platform led to the evacuation, reported the Associated Press. No oil was spilled, no one was hurt, and the rig's navigation was not affected. A statement from the port captain's office said the platform was undergoing maintenance when the tilt was noticed. It was caused by water entering a platform pillar and has been fixed.

Workers have returned to the drilling rig in Guanabara Bay, according to Bloomberg. Transocean was still pumping water out of the platform when staff returned, but the situation has been declared safe.

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Transocean has been sued along with Chevron Corp for $22 billion, and several of its executives face jail time after two incidents of oil leaking off the coast of Brazil in November and March, reported Reuters. On April 19, a Brazilian prosecutor filed a request to stop Transocean's work in Brazil, saying the company is dangerous to the environment.

GlobalPost previously reported on the November and March oil spills off the coast of Brazil. The Federal Prosecution Office called the leaks an "environmental disaster."

"The oil spill has affected the entire maritime ecosystem — possibly even resulting in the extinction of species — and it has impacted on economic activity in the region, as well as damaging property," the prosecutors said in their earlier filing.

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