Brazilian government lifts key hurdle for Petrobras oil exploration in Foz do Amazonas basin
(Bloomberg) – Brazil’s government may have lifted one of the key hurdles for Petrobras to drill at an offshore region considered to be the country’s most promising area for oil exploration.
A major impact study that environmental authorities are demanding as a requirement isn’t necessary for the project, the attorney general’s office, or AGU, said in an opinion that was released on Tuesday. The AGU, which represents the interests of the government in judicial matters, sent the case to a mediation chamber to start a reconciliation process between the federal agencies involved.
In May, the country´s environmental authority blocked the oil giant from exploring the Foz do Amazonas basin out of environmental and social concerns. The license where Petrobras plans to drill was auctioned in 2013 and has been held up ever since.
Mines and Energy Minister Alexandre Silveira, who supports the exploration project, had requested that the attorney general’s office rule on if an impact study was necessary. Meanwhile, Environment Minister Marina Silva, who oversees the Ibama environmental authority, has raised concerns about developing a region off the coast from where the Amazon River flows into the Atlantic.