The Algarve’s leading anti-oil and gas campaigning organisation, ASMAA, this morning presented a detailed legal action at the Attorney General's Office requesting an immediate halt to offshore oil and gas drilling in the Alentejo basin and for the immediate cancellation of the Galp-ENI licence for the Santola exploration block off Aljezur.
The organisation’s action, a full 126 pages and 500 references, lists and denounces “numerous illegalities in the concession procedures for the exploration, research, development and production of oil and gas, in particular the Santola contract between the Portuguese State and the ENI-GALP consortium.”
The Algarve mayors’ group, AMAL, today joined the unhappy throng and issued a statement reiterating, "its position against any oil or gas exploration activities in the Algarve and off the Algarve coastline."
Support for the drilling licence awarded to the Galp-ENI consortium on January 11th, which came to light only last Friday as the announcement had been cunningly concealed on a little-watched government website, is close to non-existent in the region.
The Algarve Free of Oil group, PALP, has called for an urgent meeting with the government to sort out the suituation surrounding the test well licence granted to the Galp-ENI oil consortium.
PALP learned of the licence, granted on January 11th and hidden away on a little-watched website, and joins other industry and environmental groups in calling for the government to explain what exactly it is playing at.
The Left Bloc leader, Catarina Martins, visited Olhão on Saturday and spoke about the shock decision by the government to authorise exploratory drilling for oil and gas in the sea off Aljezur.
Reiterating her statement made in parliament on Friday, Martins said that all the conditions exists to halt the drilling by the Galp-ENI Eni consortium.
On January 26th, environmental organisation ASMAA discovered that the Direção-Geral de Recursos Naturais, Segurança e Serviços Marítimos (DGRM) has signed a licence for the Galp-ENI consortium on January 11, 2017 to drill in the Alentejo Basin.
In August last year, 42,295 people signed a petition to oppose this drilling permit for a 1,000 metre well in the ocean off Aljezur. This was all part of the public consultation process, 4 people were in favour of this licence being granted.
Left Bloc leader, Catarina Martins, brought up the situation surrounding oil exploration in the Algarve and Alentejo offshore exploration areas during question time in parliament today, demanding to know why a drilling licence had been granted to Galp-ENI despite a 42,000 signature petition demanding this oil exploration process be stopped.
The Prime Minister said that the government had looked at the three southern concessions and had no reason to halt or interfere with the Galp-ENI exploration programme as the concession holder had done nothing wrong.
"The Movement for an Algarve Free of Oil (MALP) is appealing to the population of the Algarve to raise its collective voice against the António Costa government for having approved, on January 11th, oil exploration off the coast of Aljezur.
MALP considers it indecent that the government has ignored more than 42,000 citizens who came forward during the public consultation and signed a petition against oil and gas exploration by the ENI-GALP consortium.
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.