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sousacintra2Portugal’s Director General of Energy and Geology said today that the two Algarve on-shore drilling concessions awarded to Portfuel, owned by Sousa Cintra (pictured), "complied with the requirements" and that he did not have any choice in the matter.

Carlos Almeida said his directorate had no choice but to send a positive assessment to the ministry as Portfuel’s concession contract for the exploration and exploitation and extraction of oil "met all the necessary requirements," a claim vehemently disputed by activists.

oilrigatseaThere’s been so much confusion over what took place in the Portuguese Parliament on Friday July 1st, when the oil and gas exploration saga came up for voting, that we feel it’s important to clarify what really took place, writes Laurinda Seabra from ASMAA.

On Friday July 1st there were five key proposals from political parties  - PAN, BE, PCP, PEV (Green party) and the PS, of those, the following points were approved:

oilrigtransportIn a major victory for the Algarve’s anti-oil lobby, the Portuguese parliament today voted for the “immediate suspension of the development of exploitation and extraction of oil and gas, conventional or unconventional, in the Algarve."

The Left Bloc proposal gained unexpected support from the Communist party and the ruling Socialist Party which until now had backed Prime Minister António Costa in promoting oil and gas exploration “so that the government knows what reserves are out there.”