Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Americas
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-----------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-----------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Sport 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Monday, 24 January, 2000, 00:23 GMT
Brazil fights tide of oil

Guanabara Bay Oil washes ashore at Guanabara Bay


By Brazil correspondent Stephen Cviic

Brazil's state-owned oil company, Petrobras, is to import 26km of floating barriers to prevent the oil from last week's big spill reaching the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.

Speaking at a news conference the President of Petrobras, Phillipe Reichstul, said he was confident that the slick was now under control.

The extra equipment would ensure that oil did not spread to some of Brazil's most famous stretches of coastline, he said.


Clean-up The clean-up: Hard and tiring
The disaster began on Tuesday, when 1,300 tons of oil leaked out of a pipeline in Guanabara Bay.

Around a vast expanse of the bay, biologists, vets and volunteers are working frantically to save the sea birds and crustaceans coated in oil as a result of the spill.

Boatloads of animals are being brought in all the time from the mangrove swamps which dot the bay.

According to the specialists, most of the birds are surviving long enough to be cleaned but some may die later because of the intense toxic shock they have received.

Executives sacked

Meanwhile,Petrobras says that, despite the problems on the bay's shoreline, the water of the bay is recovering fast.

Some of the oil has evaporated in the tropical heat. Some has been recovered by the company.

But everyone is desperate to avoid any spread of the oil towards the mouth of the bay, which would mean an unwelcome arrival of black sludge on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.

Petrobras President Phillipe Reichstul said he could not give any guarantees, but the new floating barriers being flown in from the UK, the US and Canada would probably be enough to prevent that from happening.

According to Mr Reichstul, Brazil's largest company has learnt important lessons from the disaster and from the heavy criticism it has received.

Two senior officials have been sacked and a new partnership with non-governmental organisations has been set up to help the company make substantial improvements in its environmental procedures.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Americas Contents

Country profiles

See also:
20 Jan 00 |  Americas
Brazil oil giant attacked over leak

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories