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oilrigtransportThe oil rig transporter Osprey remains in a bizarre holding pattern within the Algarve's offshore oil concession areas as environmental organisations wonder what the ship’s Captain is up to.

Reports on Monday indicated the vessel was heading to Rotterdam in the Netherlands with its single cargo of one sizeable oil rig.

oilrig2The anti-oil pressure group ASMAA today launched an Algarve-wide petition to support the region's Council Mayors in their firm stance against the government's plans to turn the Algarve into an oil and gas production zone, offshore and onshore.

Readers now can download and sign the "Nem UM Furo - Nem Agora nem no Futuro" petition directed at the Mayors of those 14 Algarve municipalities most affected by the government’s oil and gas ambitions.

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.

seahorsePortugal’s League for the Protection of Nature issued a position statement today which unsurprisingly allied itself to the anti-oil exploration and extraction lobby based in the Algarve.

The League started off by congratulating the Government for its recent decision not to proceed with the public tenders for granting seven new licenses for exploration and production of oil and natural gas.

frackingRigA delegation representing the Algarve’s 16 municipalities, yesterday met the Secretary of State for Energy to demand that the contracts signed by the State and oil companies that enable oil and gas exploration on land and offshore in the Algarve, are torn up.

The message was clear, the Algarve’s mayors do not want this region to become an oil or gas production zone when decades of effort have gone into making it an internationally recognised tourist zone.

oilrig2In a surprise move from the Prime Minister’s pro-oil government, the Ministry of the Economy has confirmed that the outstanding tenders for oil and gas exploration have been cancelled.

Seven licences were on offer to companies to allow exploration for oil and gas, and its subsequent extraction from blocks off the Algarve and Oporto shores, but these will no longer be sold or assigned.

oiltankerThe Supreme Court in Spain handed down verdicts of “gross negligence” for the captain, the British insurer, and the owner of the of the Prestige* tanker which sank in 2002.

The vessel went down after being damaged, adrift for six days and then breaking in half. That sent 63,000 tonnes of oil into the sea and eventually onto nearly 3,000 kms of shoreline in Portugal, Spain and France.