Unspoilt Amazonian rainforests covering an area almost as large as Texas have been provisionally earmarked for oil and gas exploration.

A new report reveals that the area has been divided into 180 “blocks” designated for exploration by governments of countries that own the land on the western fringe of the Amazon. Their intention is to lease the blocks to oil and gas companies for exploration and extraction, taking a cut of any revenues as a royalty. About 35 oil companies are vying for the contracts.

More information here.