Chevron and Transocean execs held in Brazil pending spill case

A Brazilian court has barred 17 executives from Chevron and Transocean from leaving Brazil, pending criminal charges related to a high-profile oil spill last November.

Over the weekend a federal judge in Rio de Janeiro state granted a request from prosecutors who are pressing for charges against both firms. George Buck, who heads Chevron’s Brazil unit, and the other 16 executives, were told to hand their passports to police within 24 hours.

Charges are expected to be filed tomorrow or Wednesday.

The court decision came a day after the Brazilian navy spotted a thin stain of oil extending for about 0.6 mile (one km) in offshore field Frade, which was also the site of last year’s spill.