Petrobras Analysis Points to Venezuela as Potential Source of Oil on Brazil's Northeastern Coast

Bolsonaro said he has "on his radar" a country that may be the source of the oil, but declined to reveal the name

Brasília and Rio de Janeiro

President Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) admitted on Monday (7) that the government has on its "radar" a specific country that may be the source of the oil slicks affecting Brazil's northeastern coast.

"It is complex, there is a possibility, we have on the radar a country that may be of the origin of oil, and we continue to work as best we can to not only satisfy society but also collaborate on the environmental issue," the president said. The president said this as he left the Ministry of Defense, where he attended a meeting to discuss the topic later this afternoon.

When asked which country it could be, Bolsonaro apologized and said he could not reveal it.

Folha learned that an Petrobras analysis pointed to Venezuela as a probable source of oil. The state-owned company conducted a series of biochemical tests on beach samples and officially stated that it was not oil produced in Brazil.

In early September, oil slicks began to appear on beaches in the Northeast. - Projeto Cetáceos/UERN

In a confidential report to Ibama, however, the state sent results of a comparative analysis with Venezuelan oil, which has different characteristics from those found in Brazil. The conclusion reinforces the suspicion that the oil that reached the beaches of the Northeast leaked from a ship.

Since September, oil slicks have been identified in at least 109 locations in 50 municipalities in eight states: Maranhão, Piaui, Ceará, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Alagoas, and Sergipe.

Among the beaches reached are some of the most famous tourist destinations in the Northeast, such as Pipa and Natal (RN), Carneiros, Porto de Galinhas and Boa Viagem (PE), and João Pessoa (PB).

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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