RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Anapetro, an association
of shareholders in Brazil's Petrobras who are also
employees, on Thursday publicly asked the state-run oil company
to skip an upcoming auction of an oil area near coral reefs, due
to environmental concerns.
In a public letter to company management, Anapetro said 14
of the 92 offshore oil exploration areas due to be auctioned off
by the government are located close to ecologically sensitive
maritime reserves, including the Fernando de Noronha archipelago
and the Abrolhos archipelago, famed for its coral reefs.
The so-called 17th oil bidding round, scheduled for Oct. 7,
includes a broad range of areas off the coast of southeastern
and northeastern Brazil.
In addition to Petrobras, Chevron Corp, Royal Dutch
Shell PLC, TotalEnergies SE, Ecopetrol SA
, Karoon Energy Ltd and Murphy Oil Corp
have signed up to participate.
"Participating in this auction is reckless, given its
judicial and environmental fragility, and also the effective
risk to Petrobras' image," said Mario Dal Zot, president of
Anapetro and the head of judicial affairs for FUP, Brazil's
largest oilworkers' union.
The letter comes the day before an extraordinary
shareholders' meeting Petrobras is holding to elect eight board
Petrobras, formally known as Petroleo Brasileiro SA, did not
immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Abrolhos archipelago has been the subject of
environmental concern in the past. Exploration blocks adjacent
to the islands received no bids in a separate round in 2019
after federal prosecutors revealed they were looking into the
legality of the potential concessions.
(Reporting by Marta Nogueira
Writing by Gram Slattery
Editing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio)