International

Minister says oil on Brazil beaches ‘probably’ Venezuelan

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RIO DE JANEIRO: Large blots of oil that have turned up on more than 130 Brazilian beaches are "very probably" of Venezuelan origin, Brazil's environment minister said on Wednesday (Oct 9).

The oil began appearing in early September and has been seen along a 2,000-kilometre stretch of the northeastern Atlantic coast – with around 130 tons of oil residue collected by Monday.

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"This oil probably came from Venezuela, as a report from Petrobas shows. This oil was found in a foreign ship sailing near the Brazilian coast," Ricardo Salles told a congressional commission.

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The minister said the leak, which he called "accidental or not," had been difficult to contain.

Brazil's state-owned oil company Petrobas, which is taking part in the clean-up, said the oil "was neither produced nor sold" by the company after analyzing local samples last week.

State-owned Venezuelan oil company PDVSA has not commented.

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The oil has appeared in all nine of Brazil's northeastern states – a poRead More – Source