Petrobras in legal move against Transocean ban

by on September 28, 2012 6:36 pm GMT

Transocean on Thursday was served with an order announced in July giving the contractor 30 days to halt operations in Brazil in connection with charges filed by a prosecutor over last year’s Frade spill.

“This decision affects Petrobras’s activities since it leads to the shutdown of seven rigs currently in operation that were chartered by Transocean to Petrobras, in addition to not allowing the operation of an additional chartered rig that is docked,” the state-controlled Brazilian explorer said in a statement.

“This notice forces Transocean and Petrobras to take immediate action to comply with the court order to shutdown operations of the rigs currently chartered to Petrobras.”

In a gesture of support to the driller, Petrobras said it has filed a document outlining the effects of the ban on its operations with the country’s National Petroleum Agency, which has an appeal pending before a high court in Brasilia.

The ANP, which regulates the industry in Brazil, did not cite Transocean for any wrongdoing in the spill, though it did fine Chevron.

But Petrobras also appeared to be preparing for the worst.

“Petrobras is analyzing alternative measures to counteract the effects of the injunction on its exploration and production activities, such as contracting new rigs in the international market and the relocation of other rigs in operation,” it said in a statement.