Exclusive: Brazil oil tanker collision reveals offshore regulatory gaps

Brazil has more than doubled the number of risky ship-to-ship oil transfers this year, but its monitoring of such offshore maneuvers is lax, to a point where a July 2017 collision between two tankers was not reported, according to a Reuters review of government and shipping records.

Transfers are projected to keep rising as the country’s deep-water discoveries have lured major companies including Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.AS) to recent offshore auctions. During these maneuvers, ships pull alongside one another and oil is transferred to a vessel via high-pressure hoses. The practice has only been allowed since 2013 in Brazilian waters.

However, weak monitoring makes it difficult to track the most basic statistic: how many transfers have taken place.

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