Just as the anti-oil and gas exploration movement gears up for summer two significant-level earthquakes were registered in concession areas contracted-out to international oil companies.
Sunday morning saw residents in the Cadaval/ Óbidos/ Peniche region rushing into the streets in panic as a 3.4 (on the Richter Scale) quake resulted in a boom that many feared was the sign of a terrorist attack.
This was actually the fourth quake in the area in three days, say reports. It was also the largest.
Within 24-hours another major tremor was registered, this time 110 kms south of Faro and measuring 4.0 on the Richter Scale.
Both Peniche and Faro offshore are scheduled for drilling as a result of the ‘oil and gas carve up’ instituted in the final days of the last government – but as we have explained in previous stories, pressure for the cancellation of licenses signed with oil companies is accelerating.
Coincidentally, Peniche’s anti-oil movement PLP is holding its first working meeting this week to discuss ‘battle-plans’, while in the Algarve, ASMAA – one of the groups leading the fight against exploration – said:
“With the evidence coming in from one scientific study after another which clearly indicates that oil and gas drilling is causing hundreds of earthquakes in the USA, it’s very worrying the fact that we’ve had two earthquakes in the last 24 hours in areas demarked for oil and gas exploration in Portugal.
“For us in the Algarve, the 4.0 quake off Faro is of especially great concern as it happened right in the concession that Repsol/ Partex wants to drill its first offshore well.
“We just have to keep on alerting to the risks and putting pressure on the government so as to stop this from going ahead. The seismic risks are just too high”.
Meantime, reports suggest both quakes, although significant, did not result in any damage or injuries.