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Brazil likely to explore Equatorial Margin for oil, finance minister says

by Paul Morgan

Brazil’s Finance Minister, Fernando Haddad, has stated that Brazil will likely explore the Equatorial Margin for oil, but with a cautious approach to protect the environment. The Equatorial Margin refers to deepwater and ultra-deepwater assets along Brazil’s northern and northeastern coast, spanning 2,200 kilometers.

Haddad emphasized the need for environmental precautions when exploring this region, considering it a biodiversity sanctuary with exceptional resources. He stated that Petrobras, the state-run oil company, is willing to take these precautions into account.

It is worth noting that Brazil’s environmental agency, Ibama, had previously denied Petrobras a license to conduct exploratory studies in the Equatorial Margin. Ibama argued that the study presented by the oil company during the previous government was incomplete and did not address environmental protection concerns.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has also expressed his support for exploring this area, stating that if Brazil finds significant resources, it is up to the state to decide whether or not to exploit them.

In addition to discussing the Equatorial Margin, Haddad highlighted Petrobras’ recent investments of 100 billion reais ($20.5 billion) in wind energy, showcasing the company’s commitment to renewable energy sources.

As Brazil navigates its energy future, it is crucial to strike a balance between economic development and environmental conservation. The country has vast natural resources, and while oil exploration can bring economic benefits, it must be done responsibly to protect the environment and preserve biodiversity.

Overall, Brazil’s exploration of the Equatorial Margin is a complex issue that requires a cautious approach and a thorough examination of environmental impacts. The government and Petrobras must address the concerns raised by Ibama and ensure that all necessary precautions are taken to safeguard this biodiverse region while meeting the country’s energy demands.

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