Transocean spared in Chevron spill probe by Brazil regulator

Transocean Ltd. (RIG), the rig operator at Chevron Corp.’s (CVX) $3.6 billion Frade project in Brazil, was spared by the country’s oil regulator in an investigation of a 3,000-barrel oil spill in November.

There were “no problems with Transocean’s platform,” Magda Chambriard, the head of the oil regulator known as ANP, told reporters today in Rio de Janeiro, referring to Transocean’s drilling equipment. “Transocean doesn’t have a direct role with us, it is with the operator” Chevron, she said.

The regulator is carrying out 25 separate probes into the leak and is waiting for Chevron to respond to its findings, Chambriard said. The oil slick at Chevron’s field off Rio’s coast occurred at a time Brazil is increasing scrutiny of deep- water drilling following the 2010 Macondo spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

Transocean is included in a separate lawsuit filed today by federal prosecutor Eduardo Santos. Seventeen Chevron and Transocean executives were banned by a federal court from leaving Brazil pending the investigation by the prosecutors.

Transocean fell 0.7 percent to $56.97 at 1:55 p.m. in New York. It pared losses of as much as 1.7 percent after Chambriard’s comments.