A consortium of oil companies including BP and Total may be only a few weeks away from getting permission to drill for oil close to the barely explored Amazon Reef. Scientific experts have raised concern about plans to drill in the Amazon Mouth Basin, as the companies admit there is up to a 30% chance of oil reaching the reef in an oil spill scenario, based on their own modelling.
Sara Ayech, Oil campaigner for Greenpeace UK, says, “Marine biologists are calling the Amazon Reef a new biome, a unique ecosystem, which had been thought impossible. But it is already under threat from BP and an oil industry willing to risk spills and worse in their pursuit of fuel which we cannot afford to burn. Wasting money prospecting for soon-to-be-stranded assets is unfortunate, but trashing one of the very few unexplored wonders of nature to do so would be unforgivable.”
The Amazon Reef has been identified by scientists as a unique ecosystem that exists with little sunlight, and is potentially a home to species new to science, 60 species of sea sponges and 73 species of fish already documented. The reef extends over 9500 square kilometres, an area larger than the cities of São Paulo or London, off the northern coast of Brazil. The Brazilian authorities may decide in July whether to grant licenses to oil companies to drill nearby.
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