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Portugal has a billion barrels of oil

oilThe Energy Minister Jorge Moreira da Silva, has said that the government is interested in oil exploration in Portugal, but interested parties such as the British company Ioniq Resources need to submit "concrete proposals."

Moreia da Silva was commenting on a report by Ioniq that Portugal has large deposits of oil, an estimated 1 billion barrels, 'one of which is offshore' although other reports claim all are offshore.

The minister said that such projects should be looked at with environmental protection a key priority, which is possibly a first and certainly not reflective of the slack approch to date as the government issues exploration and extraction licenses with only nodding acquaintance with environmental laws.

Certainly the very mention of 'the environment' by a serving government minister differs to the current approach to offshore oil exploration where environmental concerns have neatly been sidestepped with the excuse that any drilling would be far enough away from the pristine west and Algarve coastlines that there is no need for an Environmental Impact Assessment.

The minister commented on the Ionic Resources oil projections while, rather ironically, attending a conference on ‘Committtment to Green Growth.’ 

Asked about the report published by Ioniq Resources and its claim to have discovered six oil deposits in Portugal's continental area Jorge Moreira da Silva confirmed that he had spoken to the company representatives and said that Ioniq Resources "will be treated as all other companies" and, "if they have an interest in exploration, they will have to make a concrete proposal."

The British company claims to have located the deposits through innovative technology called remote electromagnetic resonance, calculating that stocks would be in the region of one billion barrels of oil at depths of up to 2,500 metres 'below continental Portugal.'

The Ioniq Resources deposits based on current crude oil prices are valued at €43 billion, if they exist and are are reoverable.

Damon Walker from Ioniq said that the deposits have been identified using a technology that uses satellites to interpret frequencies emitted by various materials such as crude oil and gas. Walker said that Ioniq had not developed the technology but that the company has the exclusive license to use it for the next three years.

The company said that it already had met the Prime Minister and the Environment Minister and had sent a letter to Moreira da Silva with a proposal that it identified the resources and worked on a deal to extract the oil and gas, but still has had no answer after two months.

The minister confirmed that he had received a letter from Ioniq on November 11th 2014 which "is being examined from the technical point of view and from a legal point of view and will be answered soon."

Showing no hurry, and seemingly no interest in this potentially treasury-busting discovery, Jorge Moreira da Silva pointed out that oil companies know the rules when dealing with the Portuguese government, rules which are very clear and include a system for evaluation, for prospecting and for extraction of mineral resources, oil and gas.
"The Government must always treat enterprises in the same way and evaluate proposals in a rational and scientific way" and companies "know that when they have a proposal for prospecting and evaluation, there is a legal procedure which is rational and scrutinised," said the minister.

The legal procedures include submitting an application for prospecting to the Directorate-General for Energy and Geology, which then evaluates it.

Meanwhile,  no such delays are being encountered by the companies searching for oil and gas within sight of the Algarve and Alentejo coastlines.



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