Portugal receives proposals for oil prospecting off Alentejo coast

22 March 2006

Lisbon, Portugal, 22 March – The Portuguese government has received proposals for oil prospecting off the coast of he Alentejo region, south of Lisbon and is due to sign a contract with the Repsol/RWE consortium for prospecting in the Algarve region, the assistant secretary of state for the Economy said Tuesday in Lisbon.

Speaking at the parliamentary commission for Economic Issues, António Castro Guerra said that, “Portugal cannot allow itself the luxury of not finding out if it has oil or not, when 9 percent of total imports are oil, natural gas and coal, which account for 34 percent of Portugal’s total trade deficit”.

Guerra declined to give a date for signing the contract with Repsol/RWE for prospecting off the Algarve coast, saying that a 400 million-euro investment package for natural resources had to be signed and that would occur when the Economy Minister decided.

The concession of bloc 13 and 14 located off the Algarve coast in southern Portugal will re-launch the tender for oil and gas exploration on the Portuguese coast, which began in 2002, with the victory of the Repsol/RWE consortium, but was suspended by the government in 2003. (macauhub)