Algarve mobilises against oil drilling plans

A group of Algarve associations fighting plans to drill for oil and gas off the Algarve coast have come together to create ‘Plataforma Algarve Livre de Petróleo’ (PALP).

In a nutshell, the group hopes to “defend the Algarve as a sustainable region and oppose local oil exploration”. The initiative is open to anyone who shares the same ideas, it says.

In its first official statement released on Monday (March 30), PALP warns locals of the risks inherent in oil and gas exploration, demanding to know why people were not consulted over such a “serious decision” that will “decisively affect lives”.

“There hasn’t been any kind of public debate on the consequences for the region of a decision of this nature – nor have any environmental impact studies been done,” the platform adds.

“Nothing is known of the contract between the state and oil exploration companies,” it continues, with the authorities’ “secrecy and silence” on the subject classed as “deafening”.

PALP is made up of citizens groups and NGOs, including Glocal-Faro, Movimento Algarve Livre de Petróleo, Quercus, Almargem, SPEA, Peace and Art Society and News Loop.

As Repsol announced last year, oil exploration in the Algarve is expected to begin this year (see story