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Oil and Gas Exploration in Coari, Brazil


The Oil and Gas Province of Urucu holds about 24% of Brazilian gas reserves. The exploration of gas in the Coari region is the outcome of a project developed over the past 25 years by state company Petrobras. A gas pipeline with 397 kilometers linking the city of Coari to Manaus is being built to carry natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas to the industries of Zona Franca and to fuel its thermal power plants. The licensing process of this project was questioned by National and local EJOs due to its potential social and environmental impacts. The exploration of oil and gas in the Rain Forest also was questioned by these EJOs.

Basic Data

NameOil and Gas Exploration in Coari, Brazil
SiteCoari, Codajs, Manacapuru, Manaus, Anam, Iranduba, Anori, Caapiranga
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level

Source of Conflict

Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific CommoditiesCrude oil

Natural Gas

Project Details and Actors

Project Details000 barrels per day.

360 m3 gas per day.

ton of LPG per day.

Level of Investment (in USD)2.3 billion
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2006
Company Names or State Enterprises Petróleo Brasileiro S.A (PETROBRAS) from Brazil
Relevant government actorsMinisterio de Minas e Energia, Ministerio Publico Federal, Instituto Brasileiro de Meio Ambiente e Recursos Naturais Renovaveis - IBAMA, Instituto de Protecao Ambiental do Amazonas - IPAAM, Tribunal Regional Federal da 1 Regiao , Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuria , Agencia de Florestas e Negocios Sustentaveis do Amazonas (Afloram) Instituto de Desenvolvimento Agropecurio do Amazonas
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersGrupo de Trabalho Amazonico (GTA), Amigos da Terra Brasil, Comissao Pastoral da Terra - CPT

The Conflict and the Mobilization

Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Parallel public audiences


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Fires, Global warming, Soil contamination, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession


Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
In october of 2006, the Federal Court of First Region granted an injunction suspending the building of the Coari-Manaus gas pipeline. However, in November, the injuction was lifted on appeal.
Development of AlternativesPromotion of agroforestry systems
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The pipeline was built and the operation continues.

Sources and Materials


GRUPO DE TRABALHO AMAZONICO. Ribeirinhos e indgenas questionam gasoduto no Amazonas. Disponvel em: Acesso em: 26 nov.2008.

A CRTICA. Audincia mobiliza Coari. Disponvel em: Acesso em: 26 nov.2008.

REPORTER BRASIL. Gasodutos opem desenvolvimento e preservao. Disponvel em: Acesso em: 26 nov.2008.


Other CommentsThe Urucu project is the major piece of greenwashing of Petrobras in Brazil. It is presented as a successful case of green economy.

Meta Information

ContributorDiogo Rocha
Last update08/04/2014