Brazil regulator unlikely to backtrack on Amazon oil project

 (Reuters) – The head of Brazilian environmental agency Ibama said on Monday that the regulator is unlikely to succumb to political pressure and reverse its rejection of a request from state oil company Petrobras to drill a well near the mouth of the Amazon River.

“It’s unlikely to have a change of position simply because of some kind of political pressure,” Ibama chief Rodrigo Agostinho said in an interview with CNN Brasil.

Earlier on Monday, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he finds it “difficult” to believe that oil exploration in the area would cause environmental damage to the Amazon rainforest, the largest in the world.

“Petrobras can resubmit the request, but most likely the technical team will not change its opinion without changes to the project,” added Agostinho.

Petrobras (PETR4.SA) had previously said that it will appeal Ibama’s decision.

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