Brazil has rejected an application from the French oil giant Total and its collaborator BP to drill for oil near a pristine deep-water coral reef 120 kilometres from the mouth of the Amazon river.
Total had applied to drill for oil at sites in the Foz do Amazonas Basin, an oil-rich marine zone close to the huge reef. The company said that the reef wouldn’t be harmed as the proposed drilling sites were at least 30 kilometres away.
But Brazil’s environment agency Ibama isn’t convinced. “Oil dispersion modelling, for example, leaves no doubt about the potential impacts on the coral reef and marine biodiversity more broadly,” the president of Ibama, Suely Araújo, said when announcing the agency’s verdict on 29 August.
In a technical opinion, the agency cited unresolved issues. It refused to issue a licence until and unless the company could provide additional information through a revised application. That will be Total’s …