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Chevron and Transocean face Brazil lawsuits

A Brazilian prosecutor has filed a lawsuit against oil giant Chevron and Swiss-based offshore driller Transocean, for an oil leak northeast of Rio de Janeiro.

This is the second civil case against the companies in less than five months. They now faces charges of R$40bn (SFr20bn) in Brazil after this second leak off the coast in 2012.

The new suit is related to an oil leak discovered on March 4 in Chevron's offshore Frade field 370 kilometres northeast of Rio de Janeiro, the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office said in an email.

Prosecutor Eduardo Santos de Oliveira said Chevron and Transocean's activities may have damaged the Frade reservoir, making it impossible to produce from the field, denying Brazil its right to royalties on a public resource.

In November, he launched an $11 billion lawsuit over an estimated 3,000-barrel spill in the Frade field. Santos de Oliveira considers the spill as one of the worst-ever ecological disasters in Brazil.

Chevron said the charges cited in both lawsuits were "arbitrary" and had "no legal and factual basis". and agencies

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