"RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s environmental regulator has rejected a license for a controversial offshore oil drilling project near the mouth of the Amazon River that had drawn strong opposition from activists who warned of its potential for damaging the area.
The agency’s president, Rodrigo Agostinho, highlighted environmental concerns in announcing the decision Wednesday evening to turn down the state-run oil company Petrobras’ request to drill the FZA-M-59 block. He cited “a group of technical inconsistencies” in the company’s application.
With Brazil’s existing production set to peak in coming years, Petrobras has sought to secure more reserves off Brazil’s northern coast. The company earmarked almost half its five-year, $6 billion exploration budget for the area, and in a statement Thursday said it would file an official request that the decision be reconsidered."