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oilgungeThe Algarve’s two Social Democrat MPs, José Carlos Barros and Cristóvão Norte, have accused the government of "lack of transparency" in the process that has led to its approval of oil drilling off the Aljezur coastline in the western Algarve.

In January of this year, under a contract signed in February 2007, the concession for exploration, research, development and production of oil for the Santola area off Aljezur was approved.

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The Algarve’s leading anti-oil and gas campaigning organisation, ASMAA, this morning presented a detailed legal action at the Attorney General's Office requesting an immediate halt to offshore oil and gas drilling in the Alentejo basin and for the immediate cancellation of the Galp-ENI licence for the Santola exploration block off Aljezur.

The organisation’s action, a full 126 pages and 500 references, lists and denounces “numerous illegalities in the concession procedures for the exploration, research, development and production of oil and gas, in particular the Santola contract between the Portuguese State and the ENI-GALP consortium.”

oilgungeThe Algarve mayors’ group, AMAL, today joined the unhappy throng and issued a statement reiterating, "its position against any oil or gas exploration activities in the Algarve and off the Algarve coastline."

Support for the drilling licence awarded to the Galp-ENI consortium on January 11th, which came to light only last Friday as the announcement had been cunningly concealed on a little-watched government website, is close to non-existent in the region.

oilblocsalgarveThe Algarve Free of Oil group, PALP, has called for an urgent meeting with the government to sort out the suituation surrounding the test well licence granted to the Galp-ENI oil consortium.

PALP learned of the licence, granted on January 11th and hidden away on a little-watched website, and joins other industry and environmental groups in calling for the government to explain what exactly it is playing at.

8570On January 26th, environmental organisation ASMAA discovered that the Direção-Geral de Recursos Naturais, Segurança e Serviços Marítimos (DGRM) has signed a licence for the Galp-ENI consortium on January 11, 2017 to drill in the Alentejo Basin.

In August last year, 42,295 people signed a petition to oppose this drilling permit for a 1,000 metre well in the ocean off Aljezur. This was all part of the public consultation process, 4 people were in favour of this licence being granted.

catarinamartinsLeft Bloc leader, Catarina Martins, brought up the situation surrounding oil exploration in the Algarve and Alentejo offshore exploration areas during question time in parliament today, demanding to know why a drilling licence had been granted to Galp-ENI despite a 42,000 signature petition demanding this oil exploration process be stopped.

The Prime Minister said that the government had looked at the three southern concessions and had no reason to halt or interfere with the Galp-ENI exploration programme as the concession holder had done nothing wrong.