12/14/2011 04:44 EST | Updated 02/13/2012 05:12 EST

Brazilian prosecutors seeking $10B in damages from oil company Chevron for leak

SAO PAULO - Brazilian prosecutors are seeking $10.6 billion in damages from the U.S. oil company Chevron because of an oil leak at one of its offshore wells.

Federal prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro state say they're seeking the money because of environmental damages.

Prosecutors also are targeting Transocean Ltd, the drilling contractor for the Chevron Corp. well.

The leak started Nov. 7 as Chevron was drilling an appraisal well about 230 miles (370 kilometres) off the coast. Officials say more than 110,000 gallons of oil has leaked into the ocean.

Chevron has said it was caused when oil rushed up a bore hole and escaped into the surrounding seabed. The company didn't immediately respond to request for comment.