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Mystery oil platform zigzags Algarve concessions area and ends up in Spain

After all the speculation and civilian efforts at tracking, the Norwegian cargo ship carrying an oil platform seen zigzagging through the offshore oil and gas concession areas of the Algarve is now at anchor in the commercial port of Algeciras in Spain.

Its purported ‘destination’ of Rotterdam is no more and the big question among local anti-oil campaigners is “what next?”

“If it can change its destination once, it can do it again,” said CEO of ASMAA (the Algarve’s surf and marine activities association) Laurinda Seabra on Wednesday. “But the truth of the matter is that none of us know what is really going on.”

Faro Capitania too told us they haven’t a clue – and for now the Osprey is well out of their jurisdiction.

Whether the 53,000-ton heavy loader is still carrying the oil platform that so concerned people who spotted it off Olhão coast 10 days ago is also unclear.

“Could the ship be waiting for another ship, carrying a drilling platform – and does this mean prospection is about to start,” queried one campaigner.

Certainly the official line put out in the nation’s press – that the Osprey’s captain was waiting for better weather – has failed to impress, as the ship’s manoeuvres were so wildly erratic and all of them within the areas signed over for oil and gas exploration.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com