Attorney general delivers major ‘slap-in-face’ to Algarve oil company, Portfuel

In a report issued today, Portugal’s Attorney General has concluded that Portfuel – the company owned by millionaire Sousa Cintra – has no right to see its expenses repaid as a result of the government’s decision to rescind oil and gas exploration contracts issued under the names Aljezur and Tavira. As media stories have explained, the contracts covered 14 of the Algarve’s 16 borough councils, and have been subject to rental payments and taxes.

The government announced plans to rescind the contracts just before Christmas – at which point Sousa Cintra said he had no choice but to put the matter in the hands of lawyers (click here).

Today’s announcement from the Attorney General’s Office took no prisoners in its description of Portfuel’s “increasingly eloquent illicit behaviour” and its “especially serious violations” of the terms of its contracts (click here).

The Attorney General thus ruled that the government will only have to repay deposits held “as proof of collateral”.

These, say dinheirovivo, amount to €15,000 for each concession.

The rest of the money – much of which went into field work that ended up being stopped by authorities due to the fact that it had not been properly sanctioned – remains the responsibility of Portfuel.

[email protected]