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    Total Resigns as Operator of Five Brazilian Blocks


Total has been repeatedly denied permission to drill in the area on environmental grounds.

by: Joe Murphy

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Total Resigns as Operator of Five Brazilian Blocks

Total has given up its role as operator of five offshore exploration blocks in Brazils' Foz do Amazonas basin, the French company said on September 7.

The French major has informed Brazil's National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels of its decision, which initiates a six-month period in which a new operator will be appointed.

It is unclear whether Total will retain any interests in the blocks, where it is partnered with Brazil's Petrobras and BP. However, its decision to resign as operator comes after the company has been 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. Total had not responded at time of press to a request for a comment.