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oilrig2PALP is to meet the Secretary of State for the Environment in Lisbon and a delegation will be heard by the Parliamentary Committee on the Environment, Spatial Planning, Decentralisation, Local Government and Housing.

The Free Algarve from Petroleum Platform (PALP) will meet the Secretary of State for the Environment on March 28th and on March 30th will be received in the Assembly the Republic under the petition request law. (see below)

oilrig2As the Minister of the Sea visited the Algarve last week, offering funding for projects related to the Algarve's new 'Blue Economy,' she failed to mention full details of where the new money would be coming from.

It turns out that the Blue Economy fund, about which she spoke so compellingly as the answer to many of the Algarve’s problems of low investment levels, will be supported by the very oil and gas industry which threatens the Algarve's onshore and offshore environments.

Myths and Truths about gas and crude oilThere have been plenty of meetings and plenty of fear about the consequences of exploiting oil and gas resources in the Algarve. Few have mentioned the reports on major accidents in the last twenty years. In these you can read that most of the serious tragedies, as in the Gulf of Mexico and in Brazil, ignored warnings given by the maintenance engineers from the oil companies.

There also was no control by supervising agencies which trusted the corporations.

oilblocsalgarveThe Algarve mayors group, AMAL, decided as one to take the anti-oil fight to Portugal’s courts to get the exploration licences covering onshore blocks annulled.

Transcending party lines, the mayors have spoken to the government since announcing their objection to the oil and gas exploration licensing and were not impressed with the negative response to their legitimate concerns.

biofuelProtesters against oil exploration, biofuel development and GM crops in Portugal manageed to evade security and gain access to a conference on Monday, organised by National Authority for the Fuel Market (ENMC) at Lisbon's Gulbenkian Foundation.

The group of ten demonstrators interrupted the ‘biofuels market’ discussion at the Gulbenkian Foundation and later were questioned by tolerant PSP officers who had been called by Gulbenkian staff."

We are here to protest against oil and gas exploration in Portugal, both on land and at sea," said Vítor, one of the ten who took to the stage holding a banner and distributed leaflets to surprised delegates.

REPSOLAs Portugal’s government and National Fuels Authority continue to claim that oil and gas companies’ activity off the Algarve’s coastline is merely exploratory and nothing has been found that would be worthwhile extracting, Repsol has kept quiet about a huge gas field off the Algarve's coastline that it discovered sometime between October 2011 and January 2013.

The boss of Portugal's 'Entidade Nacional para o Mercado de Combustíveis,' (ENMC) Paulo Carmona, all along has tried to play down oil company activity as being 'merely exploratory with a low chance of success' and stated in January 2016 that there has yet to be any discovery that would be economically viable.

oilrig2On January 12th, this year at the public consultation in Faro hosted by the government's national authority for oil (ENMC), the campaigning organisation ASMAA handed the president of ENMC, Paulo Carmona, a document with a list questions concerning the region's residents.

Below are the replies, most of them being standard or evasive or simply, 'no comment.' Your comments are welcome at the end, click on 'add comment'.

oilrigThe new Centre for Oil Knowledge has been set up to define and describe the oil industry, to look at Portugal’s geology and to act as a research resource for students and engineers.
The new centre is being promoted as a ‘technical-scientific support infrastructure’ whose primary mission is to 'explain the conservation and development of hydrocarbon resources with reference to the country's heritage and the Portuguese people.'