Brazil's President has made it clear that the country will treat all oil companies, domestic and international, the same when it comes to safety. Petrobras, the Brazilian national oil company, is the main operator in Brazilian waters, and they've had their own share of problems lately. We've observed small slicks from Petrobras facilities since we started our daily monitoring of this area a few months ago. And this Envisat ASAR radar satellite image of the Campos Basin, taken at 9:18 pm local time on March 20, shows what appear to be long, narrow slicks emanating from several Petrobras production platforms and FPSOs:
This is a complex image. Platforms, FPSOs, drill rigs and vessels appear as bright spots on radar. The large, indistinct dark areas in the upper part of the image are also slicks, but not caused by oil (a "slick" is any patch of smooth water, appearing dark on a radar image). Instead, these patches are probably caused by areas of very low wind speed, and/or by heavy rainfall. Sea-surface wind data, taken almost the same time as the radar image above, indicate there was unsettled stormy weather in the area:
|Surface wind speed and direction derived from satellite radar scatterometer data, offshore Brazil, at about 8 pm local time on March 20. Black flags indicate possible rainfall.|
More images and maps after the jump....
|Surface wind speed and direction at about 7:30 am local time on March 20, offshore Brazil. Black flags indicate possible rainfall.|