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oilrigAnti-oil and gas associations have called on the government to issue a statement on the cancellation or otherwise of the gas exploration contracts in the Algarve.

The associations want a "clear and concrete" statement on the termination of the oil and gas exploration contracts, as various news reports are no substitute for a clear official statement.

REPSOLThe Repsol-Partex oil and gas exploration consortium is preparing to challenge the government's decision to rescind its offshore contract covering an area off Sagres in the Algarve.

The consortium is in talks with the National Entity for the Fuel Market (ENMC), responsible for these contracts, with the next step being a legal challenge to the cancellation of the concession contract as the oil companies consider that the government’s decision has no basis.

oilrigtransportThe spiritual home of the anti oil movement is in the Algarve which, as the country’s biggest earning tourist area, has witnessed stiff and well organised opposition to the government approved concession contracts covering onshore and offshore exploration blocks affecting the region.

The government is cancelling the two existing onshore Algarve contracts, much to the annoyance of Portfuel’s Sousa Cintra, and is planning to cancel the offshore concessions held by the Repsol-Partex consortium.

oilrigatseaPortugal’s national association of hoteliers considers it ‘essential’ that the government stops all oil and gas exploration in Portugal, onshore and offshore.

The association’s president, Raul Martins said his members “applaud the decision of the Government to rescind the contracts for research, development and production of onshore oil in the Algarve,” and show "full support in reviewing other outstanding contracts that unequivocally undermine the image of Portugal and, therefore, the profitability and sustainability of a vital sector of the Portuguese economy."

oilrigatseaThe government has scrapped the Tavira and Aljezur onshore exploration and extraction contracts with Sousa Cintra's company Portfuel. The Repsol-Partex concession contracts covering offshore exploration blocks also are to be halted as the government recognises that the Algarve is serious in its opposition to hosting an oil industry.

Neither Portfuel nor Repsol-Partex will be drilling for oil or gas. Source within government have confirmed to Diário de Notícias (see image below) that the government already has rescinded the contracts with Sousa Cintra's company covering the Aljezur and Tavira concession areas and has begun a rescission process for the Repsol-Partex concession contract for exploration, research, development and production of oil in the Algarve’s offshore areas.

oilrigatseaOil and Gas Exploration in Algarve: “A Luta Continua” – but it’s going to be a long and costly process. A status report by ASMAA's founder, Laurinda Seabra.

Yesterday (29 November 2016), ASMAA met with AMAL representatives - Jorge Botelho (AMAL President / Mayor of Tavira), José Amarelinho (AMAL Vice-President / Mayor of Aljezur), Miguel Relvas (AMAL Secretary), and AMAL legal team represented by João Vidal.

The meeting was fruitful and information was freely shared about past, present and future efforts to fight the proposed offshore and onshore oil and gas drilling projects planned for the Algarve.

carmonaENMCThe government leapt at an opportunity presented by the Communist party to scrap the National Entity for the Fuel Market (ENMC) run by Paulo Carmona, the man whose pro-oil company leanings helped in the approval of the oil and gas concession contracts signed off by the former Environment Minster, Jorge Moreira da Silva.

The formal end to the ENMC was approved on 25th November following a proposal from the Communist Party made just a week before. Público contacted Paulo Carmona who said he regretted the approval of the proposal to wind up the ENMC.

oilonshorerigThe Algarve mayors group is pressing the Government to rescind the onshore oil and gas exploration and extraction contracts signed with Portfuel.

AMAL formally has requested a meeting with the Secretary of State for Energy to "reinforce the requirement that the contracts are suspended." Today’s statement follows up the guarantee given last Friday by the Secretary of State, Jorge Seguro Sanches, that the government is not being held back for any reason in cancelling these concession agreements.