Greenpeace activists on Friday disrupted Total's annual shareholders meeting in protest against the French oil and gas major's quest to the drill in the ecologically sensitive Amazon basin and French Guyana.

A Reuters witness said the activists had gatecrashed the event, forcing it to be temporarily suspended.

Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said police had been called to remove them.

He later said that Total has not abandoned plans to drill a basin of the Amazon river after Brazil's environmental agency rejected its application for a license for a fourth time.

Pouyanne said the company would not cede to any kind of blackmail. He had just begun speaking when the protest started.

"Our position on the Amazon project has not been abandoned. We have our rights and we have obviously to respect Brazilian laws," Pouyanne said.

"It is also clear that Brazil's environmental regulators are under immense pressure from other organisations. We are exchanging information with them," he added.

Photos on social media show the activists climbing down ropes onto the stage.

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.