The brazilian Institute for the environment (Ibama) has rejected on Tuesday the project of the French oil company Total, which wants to exploit oil and gas at the mouth of the Amazon river, considering the environmental impact studies as “insufficient”. The exploration project carried out by Total “will always be gaps and inconsistencies that prevent his acceptance,” said the Ibama, to which these uncertainties prevent the continuation of the current process of Total”.
Total, which has teamed up with other companies like Britain’s BP and brazil’s Queiroz Galvao – for acquiring exploration areas at the mouth of the Amazon, has so far not obtained the permission of the authorities needed to begin work. This is not the first time that the Ibama decision about it. In 2017, the Institute had made numerous comments concerning the environmental impact study carried out by Total, in particular on the potential dispersion of pollutants in the exploration area.
Total refutes rejection of its exploration project
Total of its side ruled Wednesday that “the new observations made by the Ibama on our exploration project in the mouth of the Amazon do not constitute in any case a rejection of it”. “These regular exchanges are part of the process prior to the allocation by the local authorities of the necessary permit to engage in any transaction. Total will undertake a needs analysis of additional information requested by Ibama regarding the environmental impact study of the project and then respond to it,” said the group.
“The mouth of the Amazon river has an extensive coral reef, fundamental to the environmental balance because it is a place of reproduction, a food source and the cradle of various marine species”, had already warned two weeks ago the public prosecutor of a federal State, opposed to any new exploration license before being completely fixed on the impact that the exploitation of crude oil can have on the place. For its part, the NGO Greenpeace, which is conducting scientific expeditions in the region, had said in April that the coral reef to the Amazon river, discovered in 2016, was bigger than what we thought and extended in concessions where Total wants to look for oil.