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Brazil accuses Guyana of “sucking” its oil reserves

Guyana began oil exploration in a Brazilian environmental reserve without prior notice.

Brazil's Energy Minister, Alexandre Silveira, accused Guyana of "sucking" Brazilian oil reserves located off the coast of the Amazon region, while his country continues to analyze the possible environmental impact of exploitation in that area.

"Our brothers from Guyana are sucking the riches of Brazil, they are exploring in the currency, in a block acquired during the Government of Dilma (Rousseff, former Brazilian president from 2011 to 2016)," said Silveira during a press conference in Belo Horizonte, cited by local media.

The minister said that it is "the right of the Brazilian people to know their riches" and criticized the "dogmatic" actions of those who oppose, for environmental reasons, the exploitation of the deposit, which extends from the north of the Brazilian coast to the Guyana, passing through the maritime territory of Suriname and French Guiana.

Silveira also stated that the Brazilian Environmental Institute (Ibama), which is analyzing the request from the state oil company Petrobras to begin exploring the area, is "paralyzed" and on strike.

Oil exploitation in an area as sensitive as this one, which on the Brazilian side is located in front of the mouth of the Amazon River, has opened a gap between Silveira and other members of the Government, on the one hand, and the Minister of the Environment, Marina. Silva, on the other.

In the face of pressure, Silva has defended Ibama's actions and said that the granting or rejection of environmental permits follows technical and not political criteria.

Ibama rejected Petrobras' request in May last year due to "inconsistencies" in the environmental impact studies presented, but the oil company later asked the agency to reconsider the decision, something that is still in process.

The mouth of the Amazon River is considered an area of ​​"high vulnerability" socially and environmentally, due to the presence of indigenous peoples, extensive mangroves and endangered species, such as the red dolphin and the sperm whale.


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