Brazil says oil slick has shrunk

November 22, 2011 - 1:50 PM

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil says the size of an oil slick at a well operated by Chevron Corp. off the coast of Rio de Janeiro state is more than 80 percent smaller than it was four days ago.

Brazil's National Petroleum Agency says in a statement posted Tuesday on its website that the oil slick on the water's surface now covers 0.78 square miles (two square kilometers) compared to the 4.63 square miles (12 square kilometers) registered on Nov. 18.

The agency also says the oil slick continues moving away from Brazil's coastline.

Rio de Janeiro state's Environment Secretary Carlos Minc still warns the oil could reach beaches east of Rio that are popular with tourists.

The petroleum agency has said that up to 3,000 barrels of oil have spilled into the Atlantic Ocean.

(This version CORRECTS APNewsNow. Corrects references to oil spill to read oil slick. This story is part of AP's general news and financial services.)