Brazil union wants 4 Petrobras oil platforms halted

* Follows authorities move to halt one platform last week

* BP spill brings new focus to offshore oil operations

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 15 (BestGrowthStock) – A Brazilian oil workers’
union wants operations halted at four more offshore oil
platforms run by state oil company Petrobras for lack of
safety, local media reported on Sunday, days after authorities
shut down a platform for similar reasons.

Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency, or ANP, last week
halted operations of the P-33 platform operating off Brazil’s
coast in the Campos Basin, following union accusations that it
was unsafe.

The Sindipetro union is seeking the shutdown of the P-25,
P-31, P-32 and P-35 platforms, union coordinator Jose Maria
Rangel told the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo.

“The problems on those platforms are very similar” to those
of the P-33 platform, he said. “The P-31, for example, is known
among oil workers by the nickname Junker.”

A Petrobras (PETR4.SA: )(PBR.N: ) representative did not
immediately respond to a request for a comment.

The company on Thursday reported that a small fire broke
out on the P-35 platform in the offshore Campos Basin following
a leak in a vapor pipe, though it said the fire was quickly
extinguished with no damage or injuries.

The P-33 platform in July suffered a vapor pipe leak that
later sparked union complaints and led to the intervention of
the ANP. That platform has a production capacity of 60,000
barrels per day (bpd), but was only producing around 19,000 bpd
before it was halted, the paper said.

Petrobras produces around 2 million bpd in Brazil, mostly
in the Campos Basin. Rangel said around 10 of the 45 platforms
in operation in that area are in “a very worrying situation.”

The country’s vast offshore sector, which has become one of
the world’s most promising sources of future energy, has come
under increased scrutiny since the BP (BP.L: ) oil spill in the
Gulf of Mexico that is considered one of the worst in history.

Petrobras and Brazilian authorities say safety standards
are strong enough to continue deep-water operations without
threatening the environment.
(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth, editing by Maureen Bavdek)

Brazil union wants 4 Petrobras oil platforms halted