We don’t want to believe that he did so intentionally, as a result our recommendation to him is: Mr. President Fire Your Advisors please
The Portuguese President stated categorically - you can hear in the video below - about the contracts:
- that only one contract was in force currently in the Algarve.
- that all other contracts had been cancelled, and
- that two new concession contracts that where due to be finalised had not been signed.
Furthermore, he went further and stated that the Galp/ENI consortium only had 8 months left to drill the first well in the Alentejo basin opposite Aljezur.
Anyone, with 5 brain cells would clearly see that the President was making statements that are not factual nor the truth.
So, what are the facts?
Which contracts are currently in force?
According to the ENMC website, the only contracts that appear to have been cancelled are these that where held by Portfuel. Every other one is still registered on the site as being in vigour.
Which two concession contracts where due to be signed but are said to be currently on hold?
Again, a visit to the ENMC website is in order. The only two contracts that the President could be referring to, would be the ones requested by Kosmos Energy for the Alentejo Basin. But nowhere did we find an announcement that these concessions contract award is on hold. Instead we found the following information: Deep-Offshore - Alentejo Basin: 2 Areas - Kosmos Energy LLC applied for the granting of two concessions through Direct Negotiation.
And finally, has the Galp/ENI consortium really only a further 8 months to do the drilling of the first well in the Santola concession area?
Not at all, because according to the license issued by the DGRM on 11 January 2017, it clearly states that the license is valid until 10 January 2019.
It is clear just by this brief analysis that President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Saturday the 18 March was relaying information that is not factual, but which through the main stream media platforms present at the event – both TV and Press – was broadcasted to millions of homes in Portugal as being the facts and being the “truth”.
We really wanted to believe that it was just an oversight in the part of the President and his advisors, where it not for the fact, that he is not the only one to blatantly misrepresent the facts.
The Minister of the Sea – Ana Paula Vitorino – on 14 March lied during a parliamentary meeting when she categorically denied that there are exploitation contracts in vigour. You can read about it here.
We have to ask is the President listening to the people of Portugal or is he instead listening to lobbyists for big corporations and the oil industry? We have to ask, if the President was just badly informed by his advisors or if there is indeed an orchestrated effort to mislead the Portuguese nation?