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oilgungePortugal's environmental organisation ZERO has called on the government to suspend the current public consultation for oil exploration off the Alentejo coast and has listed five reasons why exploration for oil and gas off the Alentejo and Algarve coastlines should not go ahead.

The current public consultation period for the proposed July 1st start of drilling activity off the Alentejo coastline runs until this Wednesday, June 22nd.

oilrigtransportThe Algarve anti-oil 'public petition,' signed by over 4,400 people, is to be hand-delivered to parliament on Wednesday June 22nd.

This initiative, one of many organised and promoted by Algarve based pressure group ASMAA, saw the collection of the minimum 4,000 signatures within ten days. This means that parliament has no option but to debate the petition's demand that the planned July 1st drilling off the Alentejo coast is cancelled.

8570A message from Laurinda Seabra last week, as head of the Algarve's anti-oil campaign organisation ASMAA, highlighted the need for just 4,000 signatures to force a parliamentary debate on 'oil and gas in the Algarve.'

The total numner of signatures hit the target of 4,001 on Tuesday at 21.20. (4,405 as of Friday 16:40)

"This was the best way to get the oil exploration and extraction contracts challenged in court and stopped," said a delighted Seabra "We need to support this cause, more signatures will be really helpful in reinforcing the message that the Algarve has had enough," she added.

GreensPortugal's Ecology Party, 'The Greens,' today launched an awareness campaign in the Algarve all about oil and gas exploration, which is, according to the party "counter-cyclical" with international environmental policies for reducing emissions and pollution.

The launch was in Aljezur with a later press conference in Tavira, the two Algarve municipalities where onshore licenses have been granted to Portfuel for natural gas and oil exploration.

moreiadasilvaThe former Minister for the Environment, Jorge Moreira da Silva, denies favouring Sousa Cintra and his company Portfuel when granting oil and gas concessions in the Algarve and has complained that he is the target of a "campaign polluted with lies."

The under pressure former politician denies giving any privilege at all to Portfuel despite the company having no background of track record in the oil business, no employees and none of the in-house expertise needed to operate an oil or gas business.

oilprotestfaroIn a major step forward for the anti-oil and anti-gas lobby in the Algarve, the Algarve Regional Development Council has expressed dismay over the government’s oil and gas aspirations for the region and wants to see investment in renewable energy technology, especially solar.

The influential Conselho Regional da Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional do Algarve (CCDR-Algarve), now chaired by Vítor Aleixo who also is mayor of Loulé, convened on May 19th and today issued a statement expressing its "total opposition to exploration for oil and gas in the Algarve, both on-shore and off-shore."

sousacintraSousa Cintra, (pictured) the Algarve entrepreneur, millionaire and owner of controversial oil exploration company Portfuel has taken out a series of display advertisements in national and regional newspapers to explain his position on drilling in the Algarve.

Portfuel mysteriously won two concessions, to look for oil and gas across the Algarve in two blocks covering 300,000 hectares, despite having no experience in oil and gas and having no employees.