People are asking us what is happening? Is the drilling stopped? Did AMAL and Odemira loose their cases? Is that why PALP lodged their application? What’s really happening? Please tell us.
We now going to give you our opinion on current situation based on facts at hand. Where we are not sure or lack the information, we will say so, and request that you rather interpret it as a supposition or as an opinion.
Fact: Currently three legal actions are aledged to have been lodged against the drilling off the Aljezur coast by Galp/Eni with various courts in Portugal.
CASE 1: AMAL COURT APPLICATION AGAINST GALP/ENI & GOV
Fact: AMAL submitted a court application to the Loulé Administrative Court on 14 June 2016.
Fact: On 19 November 2016 ASMAA requested from AMAL information regarding the status of court applications.
Fact: On 29 November 2016, ASMAA (and other invited groups) attended a meeting called for by AMAL in reply to our request of 19 November. The following was disclosed at the meeting: that the Loulé Court did not have jurisdiction to hear the above case, as it fell outside the Loulé Court’s area of jurisdiction (jurisdiction only up to 41Km from the shore.) The Loulé Court referred the matter to Lisbon Administrative Court.
Fact: AMAL’s case was admitted at the Lisbon Court and given a Case No. Procº 598/16.1BELLE
Fact: On 15 July 2017, ASMAA once again requested progress information about the court action against Galp/Eni.
Fact: On 28 July 2017, ASMAA received a written reply from AMAL dated the 25 July 2017 stating the following:
- The legal process is still following its course.
- All the parties notified have submitted their arguments.
- The court raised the concern regarding the possibility that the matter fell within the ambit of an arbitration court and not an administrative court. After arguments where heard from all parties, it was confirmed that the Lisbon court had jurisdiction to hear the case.
- The court sometime in June 2017 indicated that in the court’s opinion the ENMC should be included in the legal process as a co-defendant and requested written submissions from all parties. The deadline to submit arguments is now closed, and AMAL legal team are now waiting to see if the court will summons the ENMC or not.
Fact: ASMAA received on 22 July 2017 from the DGRM a letter in reply to our letter of 14 March 2017 in which we had demanded the cancellation of the TUPEM licence.
Fact: In their letter, the DGRM refers to the injunction brought forward by AMAL, and basically indicates that in their opinion there where no valid grounds for cancellation of the TUPEM licence, and as a result the DGRM has not cancelled the licence.
Fact: That the DGRM acting in “good faith” and in compliance with the law, will leave decisions to the courts to make the appropriate award in favour or against as some of ASMAA’s questions fall outside their mandate and could not be addressed by them.
Fact: No mention was made in the DGRM letter to any other pending court injunctions or legal actions in relation to the Galp/Eni TUPEM matter (I.e. Odemira or PALP).
Supposition: The legal matter brought forward by AMAL is still running its course and is not finalised.
CASE 2: ODEMIRA URGENT APPLICATION AGAINST GALP/ENI (TUPEM)
Fact: Odemira Council submitted an urgent injunction application on or about the 12 April, which was accepted on 3 May 2017 by the Lisbon Administrative Court. (Lisbon Administrative Court has jurisdiction to hear the matter as the drilling will take place at more than 41 Km from shore) (Case No. unknown at this stage)
Fact: On 3 May 2017 the proposed offshore drilling by the ENI/Galp consortium was put on hold as a result of urgent application by Odemira Council being granted by the court.
Fact: On 15 July 2017, ASMAA requested progress information from Odemira Council. To date no information has been forthcoming.
Supposition: We expect that the arguments are still being heard and the legal process is far from being finalised.
Supposition: Offshore drilling by Galp/Eni is embargoed (stopped) until further notice, namely the conclusion of the principal court case.
CASE 3: PALP URGENT APPLICATION AGAINST GALP/ENI (TUPEM)
Fact: On 27 April PALP stated that they had submitted its own urgent court application to the Loulé Administrative Court, which according to PALP was accepted by the court on 16 June 2017. (Case Number unknown)
Fact: No further public information exists about the progress and status of this injunction.
Fact: In the press - According to Jornal ECO (Economia Online) of 31 July 2017, Carlos Gomes da Silva, Galp’s CEO during a press conference where Galp presented their financial results for the first six-months, on being questioned about PALP’s urgent injunction application (providência cautelar), Carlos Gomes Silva had this to say, and I quote: “ I’m confused”, “In law there’s such thing as abuse of one’s rights (Abuso de Direito), and I’m not sure if it’s not what is being used by PALP.
- What is happening with PALP's court action?
- What is happening with Odemira’s Council court action? We believe the public has a right to know.
I believe we are all entitled to answers to above questions. What do you think?