Expatica news

Major lawsuit lodged against Portugal’s pro-oil Government

portugalA lawsuit has been lodged by anti-oil association, ASMAA, in a class action representing everyone that signed the petition that was dismissed by the Portuguese parliament on 21 December 2017.

This historic court case challenges the constitutionality of the law that enabled the Portuguese government to sign concession contracts with companies such as GALP and Hardman in 2007 and saw multiple amendments to oil and gas drilling concession contracts over the years, including the multiple contractual changes to the three contracts for Alentejo Basin currently held by the GALP-ENI consortium.

ASMAA’s CEO, Laurinda Seabra, commented, “If successful in our legal challenge, current contracts held by the ENI-GALP consortium will be declared null and void, and offshore oil and gas exploration will be put on hold for a few years.

“This should lead to a faster transition to greener energy programmes, while discouraging any further investment in fossil fuels exploration in the Portuguese offshore, by encouraging investment in alternative energies such as solar, wind and tidal.”

Seabra went on to say, “ASMAA lodged its case at the Loulé Administrative & Fiscal Court, 10 days before the closure of a public consultation process that was developed in an effort to determine if an environmental impact assessment (EIA) should be required or not (sic) for the planned drilling of one exploration well by the ENI-GALP consortium, 48 km from Aljezur coastline…”

“Keeping in mind, that the Secretary of State for Energy, Jorge Seguro Sanches stipulated in his extension to contract conditions of 8 January this year, that an EIA was indeed a pre-condition, one starts to see through the games that are being played by both the government and the oil drilling companies – these games need to be challenged in court too.”