French oil major Total will transfer its rights in five blocks in Foz do Amazonas Basin off Brazil to Brazil's national oil company Petrobras, and exit the basin.
To remind, Total earlier in September announced its decision o give up operatorship over the five exploration blocks in ultra-deep waters, 120 kilometers offshore Brazil.
The decision came almost two years after the Brazilian environmental regulator Ibama denied it a permit to drill in the environmentally sensitive Basin for a fifth and final time. Ibama at the time said that oil exploration in the area would present risks to reefs and biodiversity.
The five blocks were acquired on the 11th Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis (ANP) bidding round by the consortium operated by Total (40%), in partnership with Petrobras (30%) and BP Energy do Brasil LTDA (30%).
Total on Monday said it had reached an agreement on September 24th, 2020 to transfer to Petrobras its equity interest in five exploration blocks FZA-M-57, FZA-M-86, FZA-M-88, FZA-M-125 and FZA-M-127.
The closing of the transaction is subject to the preemption rights of partners in the blocks and standard regulatory approvals, Total said.
"With this agreement and according to the joint operating agreement, Petrobras intends to increase its stake to up to 70%, depending on the preemptive right of BP, also part of the consortium," Petrobras said.
To remind, in 2018, Greenpeace said that it had found rhodolith beds within the Foz do Amazonas Basin area where Total planned to drill for oil. Rhodolith are calcareous algae that work as a habitat for fish and other reef creatures
Responding to Greenpeace's claims at the time, Total said that no biogenic formation had been identified in Block FZA-M-57, and that the planned exploration well in Block FZA-M-57 would be 28 km away from the rhodolith beds previously identified "and 34 km away from the location where the NGO would have found rhodoliths more recently."