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Partex boss still bitter - "we decided not to invest more in Portugal, it's not worth it"

oilrig2The Partex president, António Costa e Silva, has confirmed that the oil company is abandoning its concessions off the Algarve coastline as it prepares to continue corporate life under a new owner, the Chinese CEFC group.
The Gulbenkian Foundation’s trustees decided to sell their fully-owned oil company as they pursue a policy of divestment from sunset industries to sunrise ones, leaving the new Chinese owners to extract wealth from the slowly dying oil sector.
António Costa e Silva said that Portugal has a "very erratic energy policy" and a "climate of hostility" towards companies, referring to the barrage of anti-oil protests levelled at Partex and its Spanish partner Repsol as it prepared to sink test wells in the gas fields to the south of Faro.
Costa e Silva said his company’s withdrawal from exploiting known gas reserves off the Algarve was due to public opinion and “what the mayors said,” referring to mayors’ group AMAL’s anti-oil and gas exploration stance.
Cutting short investments in the Algarve, Peniche and Alentejo fields cost Partex €25 million and António Costa e Silva said of the decision, "we decided not to invest more in Portugal, it's not worth it."
The Partex leader confirmed that the company will not contest the ending of the concession contracts for exploration and extraction of oil and gas in the Algarve, while remaining bitter at the government’s recent behaviour.
António Costa Silva said that Partex only put resources into the Algarve gas project as its management was impressed by the Pedro Passos Coelho coalition government in which minister Álvaro Santos Pereira was concerned with developing natural resources, realising the country needed a wave of reindustrialisation to create wealth and employment. Pereira did not last long and was replaced by Pires de Lima in a reshuffle.
According to António Costa Silva, in the case of the Algarve, the offshore gas project was "plausible and executable" as seismic tests had shown.
"When the government changed (in 2015), it moved to the opposite cycle, which was to govern according to what local councils and public opinion says, without having a clear vision of the importance that the Algarve project could have," bleated António Costa Silva in an interview with Público.
Still unable to work out why Partex was not welcomed with open arms, Costa added, "a policy that harms companies and profits does not create friendly conditions for the investment and development of the country," failing to grasp that a policy that could harm the one industry that the Algarve has, tourism, is not politically or economically prudent.
In the interview with Público, António Costa e Silva also said that Partex will enter a "new cycle" with the sale to the Chinese group CEFC, which wants to "invest and transform it into a global platform" oriented to the Middle East, Central Asia and Portuguese-speaking countries.
The Gulbenkian Foundation’s assets have shrunk by 22% in the past ten years. In 2006, the fund had €2.767 billion of capital which should have reached
€3.149 billion by the end of 2016. However, it stood at €2.532 billion with an increase in liabilities of almost €500 million.
This downward trend is hardly a shock as these years include the depression, to which the Foundation’s portfolio of investments will not have been immune and anyway, says the Foundation, the start point of 2006 was an abnormally high one.
The Foundation should bank around €450 million from the sale of Partex, restoring credibility and cash to Portugal’s premier cultural and grant-making institution.


0 #2 dw 2018-02-14 22:58
Any credibility the Foundation has is purely financial.
0 #1 Maximillian 2018-02-14 16:23
I don't trust any of them. Let them sign for withdrawal!