Offshore oil and gas prospecting

Oil and gas drilling plans are set for an area of more than 6,000 square kilometres of ocean continental shelf belonging to Portugal, which lies roughly 8.5km from the coast between Quarteira and Vila Real de Santo António. This area has been divided into two, designated Bloco 13 and Bloco 14.

Ships are collecting seismic data off the coast between Vila Real de Santo António and Faro until May 19 as part of plans to prospect for oil and gas in the area.

Fishing restrictions have been imposed while prospecting works take place, raising concerns among local fishermen who fear for the future of the industry should oil drilling go ahead.

Repsol looking for business partners

German group RWE has abandoned the consortium for the exploration and exploitation of oil and natural gas in the Algarve.

The group’s shares (representing 30% of the total capital) have now been acquired by Spanish company Repsol, the other party involved in the consortium.

The total value of the project represents around €63.3 million.

Max Torres, Repsol director for Europe and North Africa, told Diário Económico that RWE’s decision to abandon the agreement had to do with the German group’s “strategic reorientation”.

Repsol is now looking for business partners to invest in the project.

Torres said at a recent meeting on energy resources in Portugal that he was “convinced” the Algarve was rich in natural gas due to its geological characteristics, similar to those at two exploration sites Repsol has in the Cadiz area, Spain.