PALP demands publication of the official letter in which ENI/Galp waives the Aljezur scoop

PALP met with João Galamba, the new Secretary of State for Energy

Photo: Gonçalo Dourado|Sul Informação

The Algarve Livre de Petróleo Platform (PALP) considers it “imperative that the official letter” in which the ENI/Galp consortium is made public requests the waiver of the oil prospecting, research, development and production contract off Aljezur and has already demanded the Government to do so.

Platform members made this request directly to João Galamba, the newly appointed Secretary of State for Energy, in a meeting they held with the Government member yesterday, Monday.

«PALP has requested immediate access to this documentation and will have no alternative but to file a complaint with the Commission for Access to Administrative Documents (CADA) if the publication of the document is not verified. Previously, and soon after the publication of the news about the withdrawal, the PALP followed up with a request to the General Directorate of Energy and Geology (DGEG) that has not yet been answered», according to the movement.

Regarding the fact that the contracts (although subject to waiver) are still appearing on the website of the Secretary of State for Energy as being in force, João Galamba said “it is a matter of formality and that they will only be withdrawn on January 31, 2019 , date on which they expire'.

PALP also learned that the Government does not intend to revoke or make changes to the decree-law that framed the signing of contracts for prospecting and exploration of hydrocarbons in Portugal.

The movement makes a point of «expressing frustration at the lack of political will to revoke a decree that intends to “give a new impetus to oil prospecting and research activities and, consequently, development and production” and also to provide “more access conditions favorable, simplifying administrative procedures and establishing clear rules for their exercise in a manner adjusted to the reality and practice of the industry”».

“We therefore have reservations about the Government's degree of commitment to international commitments, especially when taking into account the recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which warns of the need for drastic changes at a global level in the next 10 to 12 years, in order to “mitigate the harmful effects of global warming on the environment, health, biodiversity, food production and living conditions”».

Not least because the National Energy and Climate Plan, which will be discussed in early 2019, “does not provide for a ban on oil exploration and production. Once again, the PALP cannot fail to express surprise at the way in which this omission is intended to be articulated with the commitment assumed by the Government regarding carbon neutrality until 2050, which will always imply a very sharp cut in emissions».

Thus, the platform does not intend to give up the process that it filed in court that requires the suspension of the Maritime Space Use Title (TUPEM) assigned to concessionaires, which has been funding it with the help of crowdfunding.