Greenpeace scientists claim to invalidated Total’s plans for drilling offshore Brazil by proving the existence of a reef at the target oil block.
The organisation said Total planned to drill for oil 120km off the northern coast of Brazil.
It is urging the French energy major to cancel those plans.
Greenpeace Brazil campaigner Thiago Almeida said: “Now that we know the Amazon Reef extension overlaps with the perimeter of Total’s oil blocks, there is no other option for the Brazilian government but to deny the company’s license to drill for oil in the region.”
Fabiano Thompson, oceanographer and professor at Rio de Janeiro Federal University, said: “To learn the Amazon Reef extends beyond our expectations was one of the most exciting moments of my research about this ecosystem.
“The more we research about the Amazon Reef, the more we find. We still know so little about this fascinating new ecosystem and the knowledge obtained so far indicates any oil drilling activity could seriously harm this unique system.”