Minister of the Environment says that Ibama’s decision was technical in denying the drilling of a well by Petrobras at the mouth of the Amazon.| Photo: José Cruz/Agência Brasil

Minister Marina Silva, of the Environment, said this Tuesday (23) that Ibama’s decision that denied Petrobras an environmental license to drill a well to extract oil at the mouth of the Amazon River must be respected. The statement comes at a time of tension between the local authority and the government, and which President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) has said he will intervene to “understand” the impacts that extraction can bring to the region’s ecosystem.

“Ibama’s opinion, considering the unanimous position of ten technicians who analyzed the request for a license to drill an exploratory well, was contrary. From now on, what is established is compliance with the law. It is a technical decision, and the technical decision in a republican and democratic government is fulfilled and respected, based on evidence”, he said.

The license for the enterprise was officially denied last week and the case generated great political repercussions, and led to the resignation of Senator Randolfe Rodrigues from the Sustainability Network. The amapaense is leader of the government in the Senate.

Petrobras said it was surprised by Ibama’s decision, and stated that the conditions imposed by the autarchy were met by the company. The state-owned company also said that it will present new environmental impact studies to apply for a new license.