Brazil allows Chevron to resume operation

Brazil has agreed to allow U.S. oil giant Chevron resume production in Brazil after the firm was suspended for more than a year following a massive 2011 oil spill, local media reported Monday.

The National Petroleum Agency (ANP) announced it approved, for a 12-month period, Chevron's plan to resume production at four wells at Frade, the Atlantic Ocean oil field where the spill occurred, 370 km northwest of Rio de Janeiro.

The agency is also allowing the firm to put two other wells into production for a two-month period, to see if it can guarantee their safe operation.

"As soon as production is partially resumed, a two-week monitoring and interpretation of the well' s pressure reports will be presented, to evaluate the risks in the alteration of the geo-mechanical conditions of the deposits," the agency said.

In a statement, Chevron confirmed it was informed of the agency's decision and the firm is ready to resume operations.

In November 2011, Chevron spilled some 3,000 barrels of crude from Frade field into deep waters of the Atlantic. Then, in March 2012, after another oil spill was detected, Chevron decided to voluntarily halt operations. As the company was preparing to take up production again, a Brazilian court issued a ban last Aug. 1 on its activities.

Last September, Chevron paid U.S.$ 17.5 million in penalties resulting from the spill. The ANP approved Chevron' s plan to resume activities last Friday, but only announced it to the press on Monday.