Chevron, Conoco Entrapped in Post-BP Crackdown on Oil Slicks

Bloomberg Business Week • December 28, 2011 • By Joe Carroll, Juan Pablo Spinetto and Edward Klump

Brazil’s threatened indictment of Chevron Corp. and Transocean Ltd. executives after offshore oil leaks shows that regulators from the North Sea to the Indian Ocean are stepping up scrutiny after BP Plc’s 2010 disaster.

BP has booked more than $40 billion in losses related to last year’s Gulf disaster that sank Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon rig and spilled an estimated 4.9 million barrels of crude. The London-based oil producer also faces hundreds of lawsuits by fishermen, hoteliers and property owners in coastal areas where crude washed ashore.

Unlike the BP incident in the Gulf, this year’s Brazilian and Chinese spills are within the normal range of oil industry accidents, Nansen Saleri, chief executive officer of Quantum Reservoir Impact LLC in Houston, said in a telephone interview.