Ibama Rejects Total’s Final Appeal for Drilling at the Mouth of the Amazon
With the latest negative, the operator no longer has recourse at the administrative level to overturn the decision
Federal environmental regulator Ibama rejected the appeal filed by French supermajor Total regarding the agency’s refusal of the drilling license for operations in the environmentally sensitive Foz do Amazonas (Mouth of the Amazon River) region.
Therefore, in the Brazilian administrative sphere Total has no more chances of getting the green light from the watchdog institute.
The license rejected was in reference to the exploratory drilling in the FZA-M-57, 86, 88, 125 and 127 blocks. At the time, the institute said that Total failed to prove that drilling would have technical and operational safety, since the site is close to a coral reef.
“Given the various opportunities that have already been given to the company for completeness and the magnitude of the technical deficiencies present in the process, there is no way to accept the appeal,” said the company’s president, Suely Araújo, in her definitive dispatch.
The release of the license at Foz was becoming increasingly difficult. This is because the blocks are located in a region near a coral reef, which extends from Maranhão to French Guyana, with an approximate area of 56,000 km². In addition to Total, operators in the basin are Ecopetrol, Brasoil Manati, BP Energy and QGEP. BHP Billiton returned the two blocks it had in the basin last year.
The blocks in Foz were acquired in 2013, in Round 11. The decision may also affect nearby blocks, such as FZA-M-59 (operator BP) and FZA-M-90 (QGEP).