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oilblocsalgarvePossibly the most electric meeting since the Algarve woke up to the fact that it has been sold off for oil exploration heard the reason why Portugal’s environmental NGOs have been thin on the ground - if not practically non-existent - in the growing anti-oil lobby.

SPEA, the country’s leading bird protection society, and Quercus, Portugal’s longest-running eco-group, both either receive funding or in-kind support from the oil industry, anti-oil campaigner Laurinda Seabra told a packed hall at Vila do Bispo’s Bombeiros fire station last night.

oilrigAs the implications of the Paris agreement on climate change began to hit home in countries around the world this week, there was no great sigh of relief in the Algarve where concerns are running high about oil and gas explorations.

With the future of the planet at stake,195 countries agreed in Paris to cut carbon emissions in an attempt to limit the average rise in global temperatures to well below 2C, and maybe even below 1.5ºC.

oilonshorerigPortugal’s public body that issues oil and gas exploration licenses has responded to the groundswell of opinion from the Algarve mayors and local pressure groups by denying it acted with a lack of transparency when granting exploration concessions across the Algarve.

The Entidade Nacional para o Mercado dos Combustíveis (ENMC) has taken the rare step of issuing a statement to state how 'transparent' it has been and that everyone has been kept involved while it granted exploration rights to on- and offshore blocs in the Algarve.

oilblocsalgarveThe councils of the Algarve have, as one, decided that oil exploration across the Algarve raises serious doubts and concerns in a region reliant on tourism.

AMAL, the Algarve mayors’ group, has decided to express to the government its "displeasure, serious doubts, concerns and enormous scepticism" about the handing out of oil and gas exploration rights in the region.

oilonshorerigVila do Bispo council, one of the smallest in the Algarve region, has approved a motion against oil and gas exploration in the Algarve, an almost lone voice among its fellow Algarve councils which continue their suspicious silence over the threat to tourism and to the Algarve's natural green and blue assets.

The Vila do Bispo assembly voted by a large majority for the "head-on opposition to the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Algarve, particularly in the municipality of Vila do Bispo and the adjacent sea."

oilrigAnti-oil and gas exploration group ASMAA encourages those with questions concerning the government’s desire to turn the Algarve into an oil and gas producing region both onshore and offshore, to attend a debate to be held at the University of the Algarve this Friday, October 16th.

Euro MPs and those responsible for public bodies will be there to answer questions from the audience.

oilrigA Portuguese government body announced today that it has launched tenders for oil exploration in the north of Portugal and in the Algarve.

The head of the National Body for the Fuel Market (ENMC) says there is "an international company interested in deep water exploration off the Algarve coastline" and it has therefore started a tender process for further blocs off the Algarve and Oporto coastlines.