French multinational oil and gas company Total said on Monday it had notified its partners on August 19 about its resignation from its role of operator for five exploration blocks, located in the Foz do Amazonas Basin, 120 kilometers offshore Brazil.
These exploration blocks are referenced as FZA-M-57, FZA-M-86, FZA-M-88, FZA-M-125 and FZA-M-127.
“Total has informed the National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) of this decision, that opens a period of 6-months during which a new operator will be appointed and to whom the operated activities will be handed over,” the company said in a statement.
During this period, Total has the duty to continue monitoring all regulatory processes on behalf of its partners Petrobras and BP.
According to a Reuters report, some geologists have said the area may contain as much as 14 billion barrels of petroleum, more than the entire proven reserves of Mexico. However, environmentalists have tried to prevent oil exploration in the area, which is home to a sizeable reef.