Start of the fight : 22/08/2016
The Algarve is the southernmost region of Portugal. Its beautiful coast studded with little coves and cliffs, attracts each year many tourists. The Portuguese government has authorized some companies to prospect for oil & gas in this region.
During the project's exploration phase the companies are not obliged to evaluate their impact on the environment, even though it entails considerable risks. The Algarve coasts are thefore threaten by oil & gas drilling projects. The potential consequences could be:
- water & air pollution (release of hazardous substances for human and ecosystems) ;
- production of CO2 and CH4 ;
- oil spill.
The risks will be increased if fracking technics are used (hydraulic fracturing involves cracking rock formations by pumping fluid into wells at high pressure, forcing oil or gas out of the rock).
Surfrider Foundation Europe has created a new Keepers of the Coast fight dedicated to those oil drilling projects. To achieve our goal, we can count on our four chapters in Portugal (Surfrider Porto, Surfrider Azores, Surfrider Ericeira et Surfrider Lisboa). Those chapters relay our position to the local level. We also chose to join the PALP platform (Plataforma Algarve Livre de Petroleo) which gather NGOs that take position against the drilling projects.
Tobé from Surfrider's Porto's Chapter
November 2015: The Algarve Free of Petroleum Platform (PALP) presents a petition to the portuguese parlament to stop petroleum and natural gas exploration and explotation in the Algarve Region.
January 2017: The Portuguese government canceled the oil drilling in the Algarve! However, the oil drilling test turned to "Alentejo" and "Peniche". The Guards are now concentrating on the area in question. ENI and GALP have request for private use of the national maritime space for an oil drilling test. It will take place at 46.5 kilometers from the Vincentian coast (Alentejo) and a maximum depth of 1070 meters.
July 2017: PALP starts a crowfunding campaign to cover the legal costs to stop oil drilling in the region.