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Chevron Execs Barred From Leaving Brazil

Handout picture released on November 21, 2011 by the Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum showing supply boats cleaning an oil spill around a Chevron platform operating in the Frade oil field in the Atlantic Ocean 120 km offshore Campos, northern state

A Brazilian court has barred 17 executives from U.S. oil giant Chevron and its drilling contractor Transocean from leaving Brazil while it considers criminal charges against them in connection with an oil spill late last year.

George Buck, chief operating officer for Chevron's Brazilian division, was among those targeted in the order Saturday.

Prosecutors say charges are expected to be filed Tuesday or Wednesday.

A Chevron spokesman says the company has not been received a formal notification of the order.

Chevron is also facing an $11 billion civil lawsuit from the 3,000-barrel spill in November in the Frade Field, off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

On Thursday, Chevron reported a minor spill in the same area, which caused the the oil company to stop production there.

Chevron said it would conduct a comprehensive technical study and prepare a complementary study to better understand the geological features of the area.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.