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Faro anti oil group meets in Faro

oilrigNearly 100 people on Saturday went to the first public meeting  about oil exploration off the Algarve coastline.

"People are very concerned about these problems and about the contract with the petrochemical industry. This is a business where the profit goes to private companies and the risk goes to the public."

João Eduardo Martins, of the Platform for an Oil Free Algarve (PALP), said that during the meeting several issues were raised about the contract between the State and the consortium that currently is exploring for hydrocarbons off the Algarve and the Alentejo coastlines.

The oil deal was criticised for failing to provide "clear counterparts" for the state and for the Algarve region.

Martins said that news about the exploration and test drilling refers to natural gas, "but the contract that was signed with the consortium relates only to oil." The contract also is shielded by a confidentiality agreement between the signatories.

The Platform aims to gather 4,000 signatures on a petition against oil and hydrocarbon recovery off the Algarve coastline so that the subject will have to be discussed in Parliament.

Another of the concerns was the possible occurrence of an earthquake and its environmental consequences as the drilling activity is in a delicate geological area.

Martins said that currently that PALP has eleven participating organisations represented at this first meeting and they are very motivated to continue the work against the exploitation of oil and hydrocarbons."