Brazil Prosecutors Check OGX Environmental Licenses

RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil's federal prosecutor's office opened an inquiry into the environmental licensing process of independent driller OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA's plans to develop an offshore oil field, the prosecutor's office said Friday.

Federal prosecutors asked environmental regulators to see studies submitted by the company as part of OGX's plans to develop the Waikiki field in Brazil's Campos Basin, where more than 85% of Brazil's crude oil is produced. OGX declared the field commercial in April.

A civil public inquiry was opened July 30, "with the objective of accompanying the environmental licensing process" for OGX's development plan for the BM-C-39 and BM-C-40 blocks in the Campos Basin, the prosecutor's office said in an email. The two blocks contain the Waikiki accumulation, which was renamed Tubarao Martelo, or Hammerhead Shark. It is estimated to contain recoverable reserves of 285 million barrels of oil equivalent.

In a statement, OGX called the inquiry "a matter of routine." The statement said "the procedure is designed to allow prosecutors to accompany the environmental licensing process in order to guarantee that it is being conducted in a satisfactory manner." It added that "the opening of an inquiry does not in any way signify the existence of any evidence of irregularities."



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