Since the Petroleum boom began seven years ago work on offshore drilling rigs has become more abundant and increasingly precarious. Mafaldi worked for three years under difficult conditions for Diamond Offshore, a sub-contracted company for deep-water drilling based out of Houston, Texas. He worked on both drilling rigs and drilling ships off the Brazilian coast and as a probe operative in shifts lasting up to 12 hours both night and day. Mafaldi witnessed many synthetic fluids spilled into the sea, awful accidents with diesel supplies in support boats and horrible accounts of labor accidents. Today he dedicates his time to working on a sustainable social center and with the “Forum dos Afetados pelo Petroleo”, (Forum of those affected by Petroleum) a network of groups working together to resist petroleum expansion in Brazil.
“The drilling doesn’t stop and there were many giant waves that would hit the platforms making them sway and causing many horrible accidents. We had daily and weekly safety trainings but even with these careful policies I witnessed many serious accidents and suffered some minor ones myself.
Once during the perforation of an oil well in 2011 while working on an oil rig of OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA (the oil company controlled by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista), a fellow who I worked with had his leg mangled until the knee by a roller conveyor that was gravel drilling.
From the helicopter transport to the platforms I saw a lot of contamination, synthetic drilling fluid and garbage dumped into the open sea. There were permanently, repeatedly, huge tracks of crude oil floating and following the ocean current.
These times are sad to even remember and to realize that so few people know of this daily tragedy. The Petroleum industry is destroying the environment. These companies exist to destroy the environment and they do it very well.”