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Gas Pipelines Urucu-Coari-Manaus & Urucu-Porto Velho - Petrobras, Brazil

The 670km long pipeline between Urucu and Manaus fuels the industrialization of the Amazon and its transformation into a field for fossil fuels drilling, while the pipeline from Urucu to Porto Velho pushes further the rainforest frontier.


To end oil industry dependence on river transportation, the Brazilian company Petrobras planned the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Urucu to Manaus in the Amazonas State, at the heart of the rainforest. The first route was completed in 1998 between Urucu and Coari.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Gas Pipelines Urucu-Coari-Manaus & Urucu-Porto Velho - Petrobras, Brazil
State or province:State of Amazonas and State of Rondonia
Location of conflict:from Manaus to Porto Velho
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional 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 commodities:Natural Gas
Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Urucu-Manaus natural gas pipeline, built by the Brazilian company Petrobras was 670 km (416 miles) long, and was inaugurated on November 26th, 2009.

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Type of populationUnknown
Start of the conflict:2002
Company names or state enterprises:Petróleo Brasileiro S.A (PETROBRAS) from Brazil
Transpetro from Brazil - operates the pipeline since it is has been finalized
Transportadora Urucu-Manaus from Brazil
El Paso Energy International from United States of America - granted a license for the construction of Urucu / Porto Velho pipeline
Skanska from Sweden - contracted to build the pipeline from Anam to Manaus
Termogas from Italy - involved in the Urucu / Porto Velho pipeline
Relevant government actors:Both pipelines are part of the Federal Government ongoing Brazil Advances program, financed by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES). Amazonas' State Federal Government, IBAMA: Brazilian Environmental Agency, Federal Public Ministry of Brazil
International and Finance InstitutionsBanco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES) from Brazil
Jexim Bank from Japan - financing a gas plant in Urucu
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Amigos da Terra: Brasil, CPT (Comisso Pastoral da Terra): Brasil, Indigenous Organisations of the Alto Madeira Communities, Amazon Watch, Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) - Brazil
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Industrial workers
Informal workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Trade unions
Indigenous communities of Palmari, the Apuriná, the Katukina, the Juma, and the Cunirá Takutina peoples as well as the isolated people from Jacareúb
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Infectious diseases, Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsIADS virus, drugs' consumption, domestic violence
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Specific impacts on women, Increase in violence and crime, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..)
Potential: Land dispossession, Other socio-economic impacts
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Criminalization of activists
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Application of existing regulations
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Local residents, fishermen, environmental groups and civil society organizations opposed this project. However, in September 2005 the project was approved and in June 2006 the pipeline construction began and the pipeline was opened in 2009.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Excavando hacia el desastre - el gasoducto de Urucu en Brasil hace caso omiso de la historia, Informe de Amigos de la Tierra Internacional, 2002
[click to view]

[2] Petroleo en Brasil, 2001, Oilwatch
[click to view]

[3] Urucu-Porto Velho Gas Pipeline
[click to view]

[4] Brasil: el Gas de Urucu en Boletin de Red Oilwatch : RESISTENCIA A GASODUCTOS, 10/2002
[click to view]

Geopolitica de los recursos naturales y acuerdos comerciales en sudamerica, Fobomade, 2005.

Asuntos Indigenas 2-3/2006 Pueblos Indgenas e Hidrocarburos, Iwgia, 2006.
[click to view]

Petrobras: Integracin o explotacin?, FASE, 2005.
[click to view]

Amazone Watch Annual Report, 2002
[click to view]

Brazil Energy Data, Statistics and Analysis - Oil, Gas, Electricity, Coal, Oil Watch Sudamerica, January 2011
[click to view]

New Pipelines Threaten Intact Amazon Rainforests in Brazil The Dark Side of President Cardoso ’s “Advance Brazil Plan”: Carving Energy Grids in the Heart of the Brazilian Amazon, Amazon Watch Report, 2001
[click to view]

[5] New gas pipeline prompts fears for Amazon rainforest, D. Carrington, The Guardian, 05/08/2010
[click to view]

Amigos da Terra – Amazônia Brasileira
[click to view]

Comissão Pastoral da Terra
[click to view]

O banco nacional do desenvolvimento
[click to view]

Gasoduto Urucu-Coari-Manaus, Petrobras (Portuguese)
[click to view]

Urucu-Manaus Gas Pipeline, Skanska
[click to view]

Uruco-Porto Velho pipeline: oil in Amazon blood, Salva le foreste, 29/06/2010
[click to view]

Amigos da terra promove audiência pública sobre gasoduto, Povos indigenas no Brasil, 02/2002
[click to view]

BRAZIL: License for Urucu-Porto Velho gas pipeline suspended by judge, Cultural Survival
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Map showing the pipelines existing in Brasil (and Latin-America)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Lucie Greyl & Camila Rolando Mazzuca
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:450
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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