Oil giant BP is warning that a spill could pose a “very serious risk” to the region, and has ordered the evacuation of its oil platform in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest region.
The U.N. said Tuesday that a leak in the Biafra coast has contaminated more than 40,000 hectares (115,000 acres) of land and has released more than 3 million gallons of oil into the atmosphere.BP says that, based on its monitoring of the region’s water levels, the oil spill was likely to be contained within three to five days.
The spill is being investigated by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.K.’s Department of Environment and Climate Change and the Brazilian government, which is the largest producer of crude oil in the Amazon basin.BP said Tuesday in a statement that it was “extremely concerned” about the environmental impact of the spill and was working closely with authorities.
It called the leak “unacceptable.””BP is committed to the safe management of its operations in the region and is taking immediate and necessary steps to protect the environment and our workers, our customers and our partners,” BP spokesman Dan Dittmar said in a written statement.
A BP spokesman said the company had already halted production at the site.BP is among dozens of companies in the oil and gas sector that have been affected by the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The company has been operating in the area since 2007.
The company said it would continue to cooperate with authorities and that the cleanup effort was taking place at an “extremely rapid pace.”BP has been cleaning up the spill site in the last week, and is working with authorities to clean up more oil and oil-contaminated soil that had been contaminated by oil and sediment from the spill.
The Brazilian government has said the spill is one of the worst in the history of the country’s Amazon.
The government said it is monitoring the oil-spill site closely.BP, which owns the drilling rights in the Brazilian Amazon, has a total of 832 million barrels of oil reserves in the country.