The state oil company Petrobras asked the Brazilian authorities for permission to extract oil. Based on the submitted application, the office rejected the authorization on Wednesday citing technical contradictions related to the safety of extraction.
Petrobras wants to begin extracting oil off Brazil’s northern coast to secure the country’s future energy needs.
In the little-explored, high-biodiversity area, there is also a strip of mangrove forest and a coral reef. According to environmentalists, there would be a high risk of leakage due to oil drilling, which would damage the environment.
Eighty civil and environmental protection organizations, including the Brazilian wing of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Greenpeace, protested against the issuance of the permit and demanded a detailed impact study on the issue.
During Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s first term as president, from 2003 to 2010, revenue from offshore oil production funded health, education and welfare programs. In Lula’s party, which was re-elected last year, there are still people who see oil extraction as the guarantee of social progress.
Brazilian Energy Minister Alexandre Silveira recently said that the area in question could be the key to the development of the northern region of Brazil.
At the same time, environmentalists drew attention to the fact that allowing offshore oil drilling in the disputed area could undermine Lula’s image regarding environmental protection and climate protection.
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