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Total’s plans for Brazil’s new oil frontier snagged on Amazon reef – Update

OIAPOQUE, Brazil – Deep beneath the waters of the Atlantic off Brazil’s most northern coast, French major Total SA (TOTF.PA) is hunting for what it hopes will be Latin America’s next big oil discovery.

Metal drill bits, pipes and containers filled with equipment sit in the tropical port of Belém, near the mouth of the vast Amazon River, ready to sink the first exploratory wells 120 km (75 miles) offshore.

Some geologists say the area, known as the Foz do Amazonas Basin, may contain as many as 14 billion barrels of petroleum, more than the entire proven reserves of Mexico.

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