Thursday, Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) was taken by surprise on receiving a report from the Rio de Janeiro Regional Labor Superintendence (SRT/RJ) ordering the shutdown of the Cherne II platform in the Campos Basin.
Petrobras would like to reaffirm that the platform is in safe operational condition, guaranteeing the safety of workers, the environment and unit facilities. Cherne II had already been inspected by the Brazilian Naval Authorities on February 1, and cleared for normal operation. The authorities approved the unit’s firefighting system, acknowledging the Company’s capability to respond to emergency situations.
The platform is equipped with a number of emergency kits, including containment barriers, hard hats and special clothing (SOPEP kit). This safety equipment is mandatory in the oil industry for offshore operations and is also required and inspected by the Naval Authorities.
The emergency lighting system is operational. The same applies to the air conditioning, which was shut down for six hours yesterday for routine maintenance, but is now operating normally. All the basic equipment for guaranteeing the safety of staff and Cherne II operations is fully compliant with the requirements of Regulatory Norm NR-10. All training requirements and collective protective equipment stipulations have been satisfied.
For these reasons, Petrobras feels that none of the points raised by the Trade Union or by SRT/RJ present any risk that would justify shutting down the platform. They are already listed as items to be verified during the maintenance shutdown scheduled for the end of February, in accordance with plans drawn up in November 2010.
However, Petrobras would also like give assurances that, in compliance with the shutdown report, technical procedures are under way to shut down the platform, according to international standards of operational safety, and appropriate legal measures are being considered.