DATE: September 27, 2019
SNIP: Brazil’s main environmental agency said on Thursday the source of a sprawling oil spill along the northeast coast remains unknown, but that the crude oil was not produced in the country.
The spill stretches over 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) of Brazil’s northeast coast, affecting 46 cities and around one hundred of the country’s best beaches since being first detected on September 2. Brazilian television has shown slicks at sea and oil puddles along the beaches, as well as turtles covered in black tar. Other marine life has also been found dead.
The Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, Ibama, said state oil company Petrobras analyzed the spill and determined it came from a single source.
However, it said, a molecular analysis of the crude showed that it was not produced in Brazil, the world’s ninth largest crude producer at 3.43 million barrels a day.
Petrobras reported that “the oil found is not produced by Brazil. Ibama has requested support from Petrobras to work on beach cleaning. In the coming days, the company will make available a contingent of about 100 people”, the environmental institute announced in a statement.
So far, 105 crude oil spills have been detected.
Since the beginning of September, Ibama, together with the Federal District Fire Department, Brazil’s navy and Petrobras, have been investigating the causes.
Ninety-nine locations in 46 municipalities in 8 states have been affected, including Maranhao, Piaui, Ceara, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Alagoas and Sergipe. In the Northeast, only the state of Bahia has not been affected yet.