Brazil’s government said on Monday that the flow of mysterious crude oil hitting the country’s northeastern beaches has slowed, adding that the cost of the disaster could reach into the billions of reais.
Speaking with reporters in Brasilia, government officials also said that they did not know if the flow could pick back up, given the unpredictable nature of currents and the difficulty in monitoring an environmental disaster that stretches across a formidable stretch of coastline.
“It is an unprecedented situation. This disaster has never happened in Brazil, even in the world. This oil is not noticeable by the satellite,” said Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo.
“We don’t know how much has been spilled.”
Last week, an operation by the federal police and the federal prosecutor’s office pointed to the Greek vessel Bouboulina as most likely responsible for the spill.
The ship had reportedly been docked in Venezuela before setting sail in mid-July for Malaysia.
Delta Tankers, the ship’s owner, has denied responsibility. The Greek-owned company stressed that the examination of audiovisual material and other data from the vessel showed no sign of an outflow, or that the ship stopped, slowed down or changed its course on the way from Venezuela to Malaysia.