Oil and Gas Exploration in Algarve: “A Luta Continua” – but it’s going to be a long and costly process. A status report by ASMAA's founder, Laurinda Seabra.
Yesterday (29 November 2016), ASMAA met with AMAL representatives - Jorge Botelho (AMAL President / Mayor of Tavira), José Amarelinho (AMAL Vice-President / Mayor of Aljezur), Miguel Relvas (AMAL Secretary), and AMAL legal team represented by João Vidal.
The meeting was fruitful and information was freely shared about past, present and future efforts to fight the proposed offshore and onshore oil and gas drilling projects planned for the Algarve.
The government leapt at an opportunity presented by the Communist party to scrap the National Entity for the Fuel Market (ENMC) run by Paulo Carmona, the man whose pro-oil company leanings helped in the approval of the oil and gas concession contracts signed off by the former Environment Minster, Jorge Moreira da Silva.
The formal end to the ENMC was approved on 25th November following a proposal from the Communist Party made just a week before. Público contacted Paulo Carmona who said he regretted the approval of the proposal to wind up the ENMC.
A confused Government said today that it may rescind the oil prospecting contract on the Algarve’s land, awarded to Sousa Cintra’s Portfuel company, but has missed the deadline within which to act.
Sousa Cintra, (pictured) a local millionaire businessman, says he will continue with his 'exploration to extraction' concession contracts and wonders why there is "so much confusion."
In a shock announcement in parliament yesterday, Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa reported that the oil and gas exploration and extraction contracts signed by the former Minister for the Environment Moreira da Silva with Sousa Cintra of Portfuel have been declared perfectly legal by the Attorney General, hence there was no reason to annul them.
These two contracts are for oil and gas exploration across a large percentage of the region’s land mass, a development that has been objected to by tens of thousands of Algarve home owners and all of the council’s mayors who as one, united under the AMAL banner, already have lodged a legal case to get these contracts annulled.
The Secretary of State for Fisheries, José Apolinário, wants to double the turnover of the maritime economy, mainly through increasing the number of fish farms.
Apolinário addressed the Rotary Club of Praia da Rocha on Tuesday evening to explain the government’s position on all things maritime.
The Attorney General’s Office has decided that the two concession contracts awarded to Portfuel to explore for and extract oil and gas from two large areas of the Algarve’s land mass are valid.
The controversial contracts were awarded in the dying days of the Passos Coelho administration last autumn.
There’s been so much confusion over what took place in the Portuguese Parliament on Friday July 1st, when the oil and gas exploration saga came up for voting, that we feel it’s important to clarify what really took place, writes Laurinda Seabra from ASMAA.
On Friday July 1st there were five key proposals from political parties - PAN, BE, PCP, PEV (Green party) and the PS, of those, the following points were approved:
Let's look at this oil exploration in Portugal issue in context because it appears there's lots of confusion, writes ASMAA
There's the belief that the Portuguese government can just with a simple gesture cancel all oil and gas exploration contracts in Portugal. Nothing could be further from the truth. The situation is a lot more complex.