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Brazil Ignores Climate Concerns, Carries Out Offshore Drilling Plans

Brazil is carrying on with its plans to drill in the prolific pre-salt area even after UN leaders today urged countries to steadfastly curb emissions of “climate-altering” gases that stem from—among other things—fossil fuels.

The reiteration of Brazil’s intent to press on with its drilling plan came from the Latin country’s Mines and Energy Minister Bento Albuquerque who did so from the sidelines of the climate summary that is now taking place, according to Reuters.

As a developing country, Brazil could not, according to Albuquerque, “release its grip on hydrocarbons”, adding that oil would be a necessary energy source for years to come.

But Albuquerque said that Brazil would still be able to meet its climate goals agreed to under the Paris Agreement, and may even increase its target. Brazil relies on hydroelectric power for much of its electricity needs, and uses a significant amount of biofuel as well, despite its generous oil and gas reserves. It will explore these riches “responsibly and sustainably” Albuquerque noted.

Part of its plan to explore those riches involves Brazil’s plan to submit a bill before the end of this year that would allow commercial mining to take place on indigenous reserves.

But some of Brazil’s ambitious plans to explore the pre-salt zone have fallen flat, as two auctions in November came up nearly empty handed, as oil majors steered clear of the pricey and complicated oil auctions as they struggle to maintain capital discipline. The second of the two oil auctions saw only one of the five blocks awarded. The first auction saw two bids awarded, both of which included state-run Petrobras.

Brazil will take another stab at oil auctions in 2020.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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