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Chevron has paid £10.65m for a fine levied by ANP, Brazil’s petroleum regulator, in relation to an oil spill charge due to its operations in the Frade field, which is north-east of Rio de Janeiro, in November.

The company received a 30% discount as it paid the fine promptly and did not challenge the 24 violations found by the regulator.

The company now intends to return to production at the field, which lies in water depths of about 1,128m in the Campos Basin.

Traces of oil were found floating in the exploration area near Frade in March 2012, which led to the stoppage of all operations.

The oil was not from the Frade field, according to ANP and Chevron. The field reached peak production of more than 70,000 barrels of oil just before the spill.

Prosecutors have also filed civil lawsuits against Chevron and its drilling contractor Transcoean, seeking nearly £12.31bn in damages for the 3,600 barrel spill in November 2011.

Criminal charges have been filed against 17 of their employees and executives, which could carry jail terms of up to 31 years.

Transocean has been served with an injunction, banning it from operating in Brazil until the court cases are resolved; the companies have 30 days to comply or face large fines.

Chevron and Transocean claimed innocence of the charges and said damages sought are out of proportion with the impact of the spill.

ANP said the Chevron spill did not cause any discernable environmental damage, it did not reach the shore and did not harm human or animal life and was controlled within four days, reports Reuters.

A report by ANP in 2012 stated that while there were problems with Chevron’s drilling plan and safety preparedness, it reiterated that the company was not negligent and that Transocean had no responsibility in the accident.

Image: A file photo of monitoring efforts at the Frade Field, Brazil. Photo courtesy of: Chevron.