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Yes or No to Aljezur test well? Galp-ENI submits licence extension application...

OilReferendumSMALLThe coastline of the Alentejo again is under threat from Galp-ENI which has submitted a request for an extension to an exploration licence that expires at the end of December this year.

In October, the consortium sent an application to the National Entity for the Fuel Market (ENMC) to extend the period within which it can drill the first test well off Aljezur.

The current exploration contract expires at the end of December and, as the consortium failed to drill its test well in the spring of 2017, when weather conditions were favourable, it plans to drill next spring and expects to receive a third extension to a contract that was signed ten years ago.

Things have changed in a decade and the government now must elicit and 'consider the views' of local councils situated opposite the potential oil fields. These, most notably Odemira council, already have stated their firm opposition and have the support of local voters to deny drilling rights to the concession holder.

For the mayor of Aljezur, José Manuel Amarelinho, the position of the local councils has not changed one bit, adding that “the government dares not respect the position of the mayors," while understanding that council opinion is merely a political sop and that the government can decide what it wants, which until now has been to encourage the sale of concession area rights and exploration licences.

The municipalities of Aljezur, Odemira, Sines, Santiago do Cacém and Vila do Bispo already have been notified formally to give their opinion on the Galp-ENI request for an extension and have ten days to respond. This means the oil consortium has applied to explore and drill test wells in all three concession areas it has been granted: Santola, Gamba and Lavagante.

The fight against the exploration and exploitation of oil on the Alentejo and Vincentian coast continues to run in the courts while public opinion has swung around in the ten years since the contract was signed for the concession areas, something the government has tried to frustrate by ignoring a 40,000-name anti-oil petition and issuing a ‘favourable’ decision to allow the Galp-ENI consortium to drill a test well off Aljezur. This permission expires on December 31st, 2017 and Energy Secretary, Jorge Seguro Sanches, claimed to have denied the consortium an extension.

A further anomaly highlighted by anti-oil associations and pressure groups is the contract signed between the consortium and a marine support services company in May 2016, before the drilling licence was issued by the government: the inference being that Galp-ENI knew the result of its application before it had been made.

Comments  

+1 #4 Roger Sundberg 2017-11-13 06:56
Money goes first not the Earth
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+3 #3 Sue Simons - Zimbo 2017-11-12 12:17
Absolutely NO to any drilling off our coasts!
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+1 #2 Peter Booker 2017-11-12 10:01
I agree with Chip - I have now been avoiding GALP for over five years.
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+11 #1 Chip 2017-11-11 12:19
Perhaps we should all boycott Galp petrol stations.
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