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BRAZIL-OIL/AMAZON
RTS16AFY
May 12, 2017
Deep beneath the waters of the Atlantic off Brazil's most northern coast, French major Total SA is hunting...
CALCOENE, Brazil
The Wider Image: Brazil's new oil frontier threatens Amazon reef
Deep beneath the waters of the Atlantic off Brazil's most northern coast, French major Total SA is hunting for what it hopes will be Latin America's next big oil discovery. Metal drill bits, pipes and containers filled with equipment sit in the sweltering tropical port of Belem, near the mouth of the vast Amazon River, ready to sink the first exploratory wells 120 km (75 miles) offshore. Some geologists say the area, known as the Foz do Amazonas Basin, may contain as many as 14 billion barrels of petroleum, more than the entire proven reserves of Mexico. But another underwater discovery threatens to derail Total's plans: a massive system of coral reefs just 28 kilometres from where the French firm and its partners, Britain's BP PLC and Brazilian state oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, plan to drill.ÊEnvironmentalists are now pressuring regulators to block oil exploration in the area. They believe the thriving reef, which is more 1,000 kilometres long and teaming with brightly coloured coral and giant sponges, may be home to new marine species.ÊREUTERS/Ricardo Moraes SEARCH "OIL AMAZON" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY. Matching text: BRAZIL-OIL/AMAZON
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