Brazil’s Petrobras renews bid to win oil well license near Amazon mouth

Listen to this article:

FILE PHOTO: Waves reach a forest on the banks of Atlantic Ocean on the coast of Amapa state near Oiapoque city, northern Brazil, March 31, 2017. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras has asked to resume a process for a license to drill a controversial well near the mouth of the Amazon river, the company’s chief executive said late on Thursday.

CEO Jean Paul Prates’ statement regarding the well known as Morpho 1-APS-57 comes after the company said it would appeal environmental agency Ibama’s decistion to block it from drilling wells in the area.

In a statement late on Thursday, Petrobras said the drilling is a “temporary, low-risk” activity that lasts around five months and is needed to verify the presence of oil in deep waters.

“Only after drilling this well will the potential of the block, the existence and profile of any oil deposits be confirmed,” it added.

Petrobras had previously said the appeal would include additional measures to protect the environment in the northern state of Amapa, the closest to the offshore area it intends to drill.

Ibama’s decision last week to block the drilling caused a split within President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s camp between those who want to prioritize protecting the environment and those who want to use Petrobras to drive much-needed growth.