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Oil rig spotted off the Algarve coast

oilrigtransportA distant view of an oil rig some 15 miles from the Algarve coast caused consternation over the weekend as many assumed this was the start of the Algarve’s unwitting birth as an oil producing area.

In fact the indistinct shape was that of an upper section of an oil rig being transported on a specialist ship.

The first sightings were reported from Tavira and Monte Gordo and news soon spread that rig seemed either to be stationary or going around in circles.

Laurinda Seabra from the anti-oil campaigning association ASMAA said there of course was suspicion and concern as the rig was in an exploration drilling bloc.

The rig looked to be stationary but in fact was being transported slowly, due to sea conditions, on the 226 metre Osprey cargo vessel and is destined for Rotterdam. Later on the carrier appeared to be circling slowly.

The Ospey flies a Norwegian flag and is in the normal busy shipping lane from the Mediterranean to Cape St Vincent at which point it will head north along the Portuguese coast to the Bay of Biscay, if indeed it is heading to Rotterdam.

By Sunday the Osprey was off Olhão making snail like progress with other cargo vessels seeming to zip past. This has prompted additional questions on social media, one of which suggests that the Osprey is circling the Lagostim oil concession block for unknown reasons.

It is not yet known where the Osprey's journey started, nor which oil company owns it, leading SMAA to remain sceptical as to its presence.

Lagostim is controlled by Repsol and its minority partner Partex which has indicated the start of test drilling off the Algarve coast for this Autumn.

Repsol has rigs in the Bay of Cadiz and could be moving one into position off the Algarve coastline, which the consortium is entitled to do under the terms of its contract.

Meanwhile the precious cargo seems to be in a holding pattern with Osprey’s captain allegedly waiting for better weather before he progresses to Rotterdam.

Only time will unravel the mystery but the presence of an oil rig, albeit one being transported, could not have been better timed for ASMAA which today launched a major anti-oil petition to bolster support for the region's mayors all of whom have agreed that the Algarve sould be for tourism not oil.

See the news item on the ASMAA petition here


Go straight to the ASMAA petition here




© Tavira in Transition


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-5 #4 Verjini 2016-02-02 11:56
Better weather?
Can it get better than this? ! 8)
-4 #3 Maxwell 2016-02-02 08:20
Useful detective work guys ! As Shaw Taylor used to tell us on Police 5 -the UK TV crime and police investigation reporting programme - "Keep your eyes peeled".

With so much illegality going on around us today in Portugal a similar TV programme should be seen as a vital brake on criminality. But will not be.

Police 5 starting in 1962 and ran for 30 years. The length of time Portugal has been in the European Union. Police 5 beginning just a year after that well known 1961 event - the Toast to Freedom - that triggered the founding of Amnesty International.

To quote "British lawyer Peter Benenson claimed that his inspiration for Amnesty came while reading about two Portuguese students sentenced to seven years' imprisonment for raising their glasses in a toast to freedom at a Lisbon bar."

Now re-read that - 7 years imprisonment. 1961 !

-7 #2 Mike Towl 2016-02-02 07:15
Don't panic Mr. Mainwaring!
-1 #1 scrabbler 2016-02-01 16:45
The last port of call is listed as Port Said . The vessel status is Not Under Command. The ships MMSI number is 259753000. Perhaps someone should call the Captain on VHF and as his intentions.

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