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Amazing News for the Amazon Reef! Brazil has stopped the sale of Oil Blocks in the Amazon Mouth Basin

Posted by Priya Surendra - 16th November 2017


We’ve prevented new threats to the Amazon Reef, and this is the latest – other oil giants won’t be able to bid for the Amazon Mouth Basin blocks in the 15th bidding round happening next year in 2018. Well done Brazil’s Energy Policy Council (CNPE) for making this happen, whilst we still wait for Total (BP’s partner in crime) to present their last environmental assessment.They shouldn’t be granted their licence, and we’ll still keep pressuring BP until they withdraw from the region.

Let’s take it back a bit…

Why are bidding rounds important?

A bidding round is an auction. The government sells blocks for oil companies, giving them an opportunity to start oil exploration and exploitation projects.

In 2013, the 11th bidding round gave Total and BP these blocks to drill for oil near the pristine Amazon Reef. After this, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was made, to show the project was safe for the surrounding environment. Except, it wasn’t safe which is why they’ve had to resubmit several times. They also have to share the opinions of local communities at public meetings, as they’ll be affected by the oil drilling too.

BP’s public meetings are happening right now in Amapa.

The blocks can’t be offered until 2019, and we’ll keep working for them to be removed forever.

Oil drilling near this incredibly unique ecosystem just shouldn’t be an option. Over the last year, we’ve exposed the risks associated with oil projects in the Amazon Mouth Basin alongside concerned scientists, local communities and the environmental agency responsible for granting oil drilling licenses – IBAMA. On August 29th, they rejected Total’s environmental impact assessment due to concerns that an oil spill could reach the Amazon Reef. Most significantly, there would be up to 30% chance of oil reaching it in the event of a spill. This could impact neighbouring countries, possible new and endangered species, and local and traditional communities that depend on thriving oceans to live.

Total and BP haven’t been able to present a proper environmental documentation to justify the viability of their projects, and that’s because they can’t! They haven’t been able to prove that drilling near the Amazon Reef is not going to represent a big risk for this amazing and unexplored biome – and no other company will ever be able to. Any company trying to drill there will face the same problems, and we need to keep working to stop the oil industry from drilling near the Amazon Reef.

It’s not over yet- but we have a lot to celebrate!

What a year it’s been. More than 1.3 million people, the scientific community, IBAMA and the local communities have already said no to Total and BP’s plans to drill near the Amazon Reef, and now CNPE removed all the Amazon Mouth Basin blocks from the 15th bidding round. This is another clear message to Total and BP, who should immediately withdraw from drilling near the Amazon Reef.

We’ve prevented new and even more concerning threats for the Amazon Reef, but we need to work even harder to make this a definitive victory making sure that Total, BP and all other oil companies stay far away the Amazon Reef.

 

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