OPINION: Hackles are up in Brazil over the apparent reluctance of Brazilian environmental agency Ibama to issue the drilling permit that Petrobras needs to spud a high-impact exploration well off the mouth of the Amazon River.

The state controlled oil company took over several big exploration blocks in the Foz de Amazonas basin in 2020 after TotalEnergies and BP gave up on their own attempts to obtain drilling permits.

ExxonMobil’s discoveries of highly productive oilfields offshore Guyana have conjured up dreams of similar finds off northern Brazil’s equatorial margin, which also includes the Para Maranhoa, Barreirinhas, Ceara and Potiguar basins.