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oilrigAlgarve pressure group and source of much social commentary, Olhão Livre, today released information about the government deal with those oil and gas companies which have exploration rights off the southern coastline.

The original exploration authorisation laws signed by Cavaco Silva give some information but current licensing agreements are protected by confidentiality clauses.

oilrigNearly 100 people on Saturday went to the first public meeting  about oil exploration off the Algarve coastline.

"People are very concerned about these problems and about the contract with the petrochemical industry. This is a business where the profit goes to private companies and the risk goes to the public."

oilrigThe pressure group campaigning against the development of an oil and gas industry off the Algarve’s coastline is appealing to the Portuguese nation for support.

Algarve Livre de Petróleo, or PALP, was set up following the initiative of a group of citizens and organisations in the Algarve region and now wants to alert the populations of the Algarve and the rest of Portugal as to the importance of campaigning against the exploitation of oil and natural gas off the Algarve coast.

oiltankerAt long last, amid media pressure urging people to question the governements’ desire to establish oil drilling off the Algarve and Alentejo coastlines, a group of environmental associations and supporters have joined hands to create 'Plataforma Algarve Livre de Petróleo,' or PALP, as an acronym.

PALP has a simple to remember main objective - "to defend the Algarve as a sustainable region by opposing local oil exploration."

oilrigReports last week that a British company called Ioniq Resources claims to have located six oil deposits in Portugal, through an innovative technology that can detect natural resources using electronics and satellite data, have been bouncing around the weekend media.

The company claim of untold riches seems not to be taken seriously by the Portuguese government.

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.

oilrigOil giant Galp's chief executive has revealed that the company has "a good partner" with which to proceed with the exploration of oil off the Alentejo coastline next year and is confident that the government will give the green light to the partnership proposal.

Ferreira de Oliveira from Galp said that he had had a lot of interest from potential partners for oil and gas exploration and already has forwarded a proposal to the government.

oilrigDedicated to the maritime economy, an event in Portimão (09 to 11 October) will see the regional tourist board promoting sun and sea tourism which remains the most important segment for the region, accounting for the arrival of 88% of holidaymakers.

The tourist board will distribute its usual raft of documentation to many of the 6,000 visitors expected to attend.