Wednesday, 24 May 2017
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catarinamartinsCatarina Martins, the strident leader of the Left Bloc, has called for environmental impact assessments to be mandatory before oil and gas exploration concessions are granted.

Speaking in Évora, Martins is to present a draft law to this effect and called on all parties to “do the decent thing” with oil concessions, reflecting the public mood that the current licensing process is unaccountable, secretive and gives too much power to the Minister of the Environment whose motives may be suspect but are unable to be influenced or challenged by the electorate.

carmonaENMCA petition signed by Socialist MPs Carlos Pereira and Luís Moreira Testa requests Hélder Amaral as the President of the committee for the Economy, Public Works and Innovation, urgently to call the president of the National Authority for the Fuel Market, Paulo Carmona, to parliament to explain past actions relating to the Portufuel oila nd gas exploration and extraction contracts, and others.

The formal request will be sent to Carmona (pictured) advising him that the committee members require some enlightenment on “the many doubts that exist about the oil exploration process in Portugal."

oilonshorerigThe Algarve mayors group AMAL has selected a lawyer to represent its views in a court action to halt the exploration for oil and gas across much of the region’s land mass and has praised the foreign community for its involvement in the issue.

AMAL members met this week and approved the hiring of lawyer João Vidal Almeida to lodge the case against the exploration and extraction concessions granted in suspicious circumstances to Portfuel, owned by local businessman Sousa Cintra.

moreiadasilvaPortugal’s former Minister for the Destruction of the Environment Jorge Moreira da Silva has proved to unbelievers that there is a God by being rejected for the job he really wanted at the UN, to be the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

This is the same Moreira da Silva who as Portugal's Minister of the Environment put into action the coalition government’s oil and gas exploration plans despite a worldwide move away from hydrocarbons as agreed in Paris and in the face of stiff opposition from the Algarve’s population, when details eventually were announced well after the ink had dried on the secretive contracts.

moreiadasilvaThe Former Environment Minister Jorge Moreira da Silva (pictured left) appeared in front of the joint committee of the Economy and the Environment on Thursday evening to offer his views on oil and gas exploration in the Algarve and explain the background to its chosen partner - Portfuel.

Moreira da Silva was the man who signed the controversial Algarve concession contracts, specifically the one in favour of Portfuel Petróleos e Gás de Portugal, Lda which has a 40 year lease over 300,000 hectares of the Algarve’s land mass despite having no background in the industry or any specialist employees capable of undertaking the technical work involved.

sousacintraA victory in one battle at least as environmental pressure groups have managed to have the suspect drilling work halted at Perdigão, Aljezur.

The Portuguese Environment Agency issued the suspension today after a site visit in Perdigão thus calling a halt to the activities of Domus Verde Imobiliarios Empreendimentos, owned by local businessman Sousa Cintra (pictured) whose Portufuel company has the oil and gas drilling rights over much of the Algarve’s land.

oilonshorerigPressure from the Algarve’s mayors and anti-oil and gas action groups seem to be having the desired effect as rumours echo through the corridors of power in Lisbon that the Portfuel concessions to explore across much of the region’s territory may be withdrawn.

The government may have found the excuse needed to halt onshore drilling as Portufuel may not have the necessary insurance covers as required under its contract, nor does it have a clean three year technical and financial record as required in order to fulfil the contractual terms.

oilrigThe Galp/Eni oil consortium recently announced that it will start oil exploration off the coast of Alentejo this summer, with a first exploratory well to be drilled about 80 kilometres off Sines.

This development has led environmental group Quercus to go public and warn of the potential "overwhelming consequences' that an accident will cause to the environment.