Brazil denied Friday the French oil group Total authorization to drill in five areas of the Amazon river mouth. "The environmental license for marine drilling activities in FozA-M-57, 86, 88, 125 and 127 blocks of Foz de Amazonas was rejected this Friday due to a series of technical problems identified during the process to obtain the license" , the Brazilian agency for environmental regulation Ibama announced in a statement.
The refusal of this permission was requested last April by the Brazilian prosecutor and environmental organizations.
Uncertainties in the event of an emergency
Total collaborated in 2013 with British BP and Brazilian Petrobras to acquire exploration blocks at the Amazonian estuary and was waiting to get the green light from the Brazilian authorities to begin exploration work.
Ibama said in his statement that he detected "significant uncertainties" in the plan presented by Total for potential emergencies. The Brazilian agency cites "the possibility of a loss of oil that could affect the coral reefs in the region and by extension the marine biodiversity".
The agency adds that it gave Total E & P do Brasil, the Brazilian branch of the group, all the "possible opportunities" to "complete and clarify the technical problems" that have been identified. He said he had informed Friday of his decision.
Greenpeace greets "the good news"
Questioned by the AFP, the French group simply indicated that it would "analyze the documents presented by Ibama and decide the next steps".
For its part, the environmental association Greenpeace hailed this "excellent news for the 2 million people mobilized on our side for the protection of the Amazon's barrier reef", believing that the group had "stubborn, cost the cost of opening a new oil border in an area that hosts endangered species ".
"In an uncertain political context in Brazil and in the face of threats to the environment in Guyana, Greenpeace calls for the long-term protection of the coral reef and its surrounding areas", added the NGO.