Seventh Victim of Petrobras Blast Found

Cidade de Sao Mateus explosion

By MarEx 2015-02-27 15:23:10

Norway's BW Offshore said on Thursday it had found the body of a seventh victim of a February 11 blast on a production vessel it operates for Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras.

Two crew members of the Cidade de Sao Mateus FPSO are still missing.

The vessel produced from the Camarupim Norte field off the coast of Espirito Santo state and was operated by Petrobras. The platform produces about 2.25 million cubic meters (88.3 million cubic feet) a day of natural gas and 350 cubic meters (2,200 barrels) a day of oil.

Security concerns had already been mounting before the accident at Petrobras. Huge investments, money-losing fuel subsidies on imports and the largest debt of any oil company in the world have crimped cash and forced Petrobras to operate many facilities at full capacity for long periods without maintenance.

The company has also been dogged by a massive corruption scandal that has led to the arrest of three former Petrobras officials as well as the resignation of its CEO and five other top executives. Dozens of executives from major Petrobras contractors have also been arrested, leading to the cancellation of construction and repair contracts.

Such strains on operations have come as the company suffers from a series of serious accidents and forced maintenance orders at refineries and offshore oil platforms. Union officials also allege that the company's increasing reliance on non-union contract workers has put installations and people at risk.

Petrobras said in a statement that 74 workers were on board at the time of the accident.

Copyright Reuters 2015.