Total announced yesterday (7) that it had notified its partners last month that it is resigning from its role of operator of five exploration blocks in the Foz do Amazonas Basin. The company said that it has already notified ANP of its decision to give up operatorship of the blocks, triggering a six-month period for a new operator to be appointed.
Total did not give details about why it is pulling out as the operator of the exploration blocks, but in recent years the French company has been denied permits to drill for O&G in the blocks located near the mouth of the Amazon several times, while also meeting strong opposition from environmental groups due to coral reefs having been spotted in the area.
In 2018, Greenpeace said that a team of scientists onboard a Greenpeace ship had found a rhodolith field in the area where Total was planning to drill.
At the end of 2018, Brazil’s environmental regulator Ibama rejected the company’s plan to drill in the blocks for a fifth and final time.
Then, in 2019, the regulator again denied a request to reconsider restarting the licensing process for the blocks, meaning that the oil giant would have had to start the licensing process again from scratch.