In 2013 a consortium of Brazilian companies won licences to explore for gas in four onshore 'blocs' in Parana state. The consortium plans on conducting investigations to determine whether fracking is a necessary and appropriate technique to extract unconventional natural gas in the blocs located in the Parana basin.
There is strong opposition to the plans from the local population who have marched in the streets to protest the plans. Local residents have also taken to the streets to raise awareness among the population of the dangers of fracking. Public meetings have been held to debate fracking.
Individual councils across Parana are taking action to make fracking illegal by passing municipal laws.
In June 2014, a judge based in Cascavel suspended the licences awarded to companies to explore for gas in the Parana basin, on the basis that technical studies conducted into the effects of fracking were insufficient. The licences can only be re-obtained once robust technical-environmental studies have been conducted and once the National Environmental Council (Conselho Nacional do Meio Ambiente - Conama) has authorised the use of fracking. The ANP (National Petroleum Agency) attempted to appeal the suspension but was unsuccessful.
Toledo and Cascavel are the cities that face the highest risk from the dangers of fracking in the region.
The federal government is strongly in support of fracking across the whole of Brazil.(See less)