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Total's Amazonas drilling permit 'a matter of time'

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, August 31, 2017
Total's Amazonas drilling permit 'a matter of time'

A consortium led by France's Total will eventually receive a long-awaited environmental permit for oil and gas exploration in the Foz do Amazonas basin, the head of Brazil's hydrocarbons regulatory ANP said on Thursday.

Environmental agency Ibama said this week it has rejected three permit requests by the group due to inadequate impact studies.

But ANP director general Décio Oddone moved to play down controversy surrounding Ibama's stance.

"I think it [the license] will just be a matter of time," Oddone told reporters in Rio de Janeiro, adding that ANP is not involved in the process.

Total and its partners secured exploration and production rights for five Foz do Amazonas blocks at an auction in 2013. However the group, which also includes BP and state-run oil company Petrobras, has yet to drill a single exploration well in the basin.

Foz do Amazonas forms part of Brazil's northern Equatorial Margin, which is said to boast geological similarities with the vast oil-bearing fields off Africa's west coast.

HURRICANE HARVEY

Meanwhile, Oddone said Brazil would not be impacted by Hurricane Harvey, which has pounded fuel distribution points and refineries on the US Gulf Coast.

"I don't see any problem. It's not the only place where fuel is sent to Brazil," he said. "In any case, fuel can take a month or two months to arrive from there so there won't be any difficulty."

Oddone also said he was "unconcerned" about higher fuel demand for thermoelectric generation after Petrobras raised the price of diesel by 2.5% and gasoline by 0.5% on Wednesday.

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