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Update about 'Say No To Oil Rigs In The Algarve'

Say no to oil rigs in the AlgarveASMAA - The Algarve Surf and Marine Activities Association, attended the Gulbenkian Foundation’s launch of their Ocean Initiative “Valuing Oceans for Tomorrow” in Lisbon, last Friday. ASMAA was eager to hear how this initiative would address the socio-economic needs of the country and the environmental challenges and risks facing Portugal, both currently and in the future, from oil and gas exploration.

On confirmation of attendance, ASMAA was informed that the launch would not be open to a question and answer session but that an opportunity would be given to interact with the present delegates.

This left ASMAA questioning whether attending the launch was worthwhile, as we would not have an opportunity to pose any of our concerns directly to the key speakers. ASMAA’s decision to attend was based on getting the information on the overview of the project first hand.

To our delight, on our arrival, we were approached by a representative of the Gulbenkian Foundation who introduced us to a senior executive of Partex and we were invited to a private meeting to address any questions we might have, after the launch presentation.

During our meeting, the Partex representative highlighted the various aspects of the proposed gas exploration initiative in the Algarve and their role in the Repsol/Partex consortium. The forum was then opened to ASMAA to address our concerns, some of which were addressed and some which were not, agreeing nonetheless, that Partex would revert back to us once they had consulted internally and with their consortium partners.

Partex requested that we consider removing our current online petition “Say No to Oil and Gas Rigs in the Algarve”, or alternatively, amend some of its content as a matter of priority. Partex’s request was based on Partex’s allegation that ASMAA has been misinformed on certain issues and Partex would like to see the record set straight.

ASMAA responded by saying that the petition would remain as is, ASMAA is open to making the ‘misinformed’ changes, if we receive communication from Partex highlighting the alleged misinformation in the petition – as long as their information is factual and substantiated. Partex agreed that they would revert back to us within a couple of weeks.

We are grateful to Partex and Gulbenkian Foundation for opening the doors of communication, thereby creating a platform to address our concerns with regard to the agreement entered into between the Portuguese government and the Repsol/Partex consortium for the exploration of hydrocarbons off the Algarve basin.

ASMAA continues to hold the opinion that this initiative has few, if any, real benefits for Portugal or its people, and looks forward to Partex’s response in convincing us otherwise.

CLICK HERE to view the petition.

W: www.asmaa-algarve.org

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