Brazil to decide in 1st half on Total’s Amazon river basin drilling
BRASILIA - Reuters
Brazil environmental agency Ibama will decide on French oil firm Total’s application to drill in the environmentally sensitive Amazon river basin before the end of May, and possibly as soon as the end of March, an agency official told Reuters on Feb. 21.
Ibama last August ordered Total to provide information missing from its application for an environmental license to explore for oil in the Foz do Amazonas basin, warning that it was the oil company’s last chance to provide necessary details before the application is scrapped.
The agency received Total’s response at the end of January and has four months to evaluate the new report and issue a ruling, said Antonio Celso Junqueira Borges, the general coordinator for oil and gas licensing.
“Total filed its supplement to its studies at the end of January, it’s in analysis,” he said.
“(The timeline for finishing the analysis) is the end of March, but could be delayed a bit more than that.”
He declined to comment on the chances of the application to explore being approved.
“Beyond that it’s a sensitive region, there are lots of fisherman and a great biodiversity, so it demands greater control and care,” he said.
Total did not respond to request for comment.
The firm, leading a group of partners including BP Plc and Petroleo Brasileiro SA, won five blocks in Brazil’s 11th auction of oil blocks held in 2013. As the operator, Total is responsible for applying for environmental licenses.
Total is the farthest along in the application process for Foz do Amazonas basin blocks awarded in 2013, with BP and Queiroz Galvo Exploration and Production (QGEP) in earlier stages of applying for licenses with Ibama for separate blocks they won in region, according to the agency.