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Brazil investigates oil spill in northeast beaches

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By Marta Nogueira

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s Navy and state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA have concluded after investigating an oil spill along the northeastern coast of the country that it was not produced in Brazil.

In a statement on Thursday, Brazil’s environmental agency Ibama said it has been investigating the spill in several beaches in some northeastern states since Sept. 2.

Petrobras, as the state-controlled oil company is known, said in a securities filing on Wednesday that the spilled oil was not produced in the country, without elaborating. It added that nonetheless, it was contributing to the cleaning efforts of the beaches, with some 100 Petrobras employees helping clean up the spill.

Beaches in the states of Rio Grande do Norte, Maranhao, Ceara, Paraiba, Pernambuco, Alagoas and Sergipe were affected. Brazil’s northeast hosts some of the nicest beaches in the country, a top tourism destination for Brazilians.

Some marine turtles were contaminated by the oil. They were rescued alive in the state of Rio Grande do Norte and sent to rehabilitation centers. Other animals were found dead, the environment agency said, without disclosing species or numbers.

(Reporting by Marta Nogueira in Rio de Janeiro; Writing by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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