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    Total Exits Brazilian Basin


The French major was repeatedly denied a permit to drill in the area by Brazil's environmental regulator.

by: Joe Murphy

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Total Exits Brazilian Basin

France's Total has agreed to transfer its interests in five exploration blocks in Brazil's offshore Foz do Amazonas basin to local state-owned partner Petrobras, it announced on September 28.

The major resigned as operator of the blocks earlier this month but declined to say whether it intended to retain its interests. A new operator will be appointed within six months. BP also has a position in the acreage. Total did not say whether the transfer had a price tag, but said its finalisation was subject to BP waiving its pre-emptive rights as well as regulatory approvals.

Total and its partners were repeatedly denied a permit to drill in the Foz do Amazonas basin by Brazil's environmental regulator Ibama. Environmentalists say oil exploration in the area could damage its sizeable reef.

In its statement, Total noted its continuing work in Brazil, where it has operated for four decades. It produced 16,000 b/d of oil in the country last year and led a consortium that was awarded rights to a block in Brazil's Campos basin in October 2019. Total is also involved in fuel distribution in Brazil and has teamed up with Petrobras to develop gas, renewables and general power projects.