As you all know, we have warned that there was a serious risk that the Saipem 12000 could enter Portuguese waters this past weekend as the work in Morocco would be finalised towards the end of April 2018. We warned that we expected the ship to move anytime once the drilling work was completed in the Moroccan coast ... inclusive we discussed in Milfontes last week, during a brief debate, the possibility that the ship could in fact leave Morocco around the first weekend in May.
And as forecasted, we were right!
The Saipem 12000 is NOT on the way to Portuguese waters yet, but it is positioning itself in very close proximity, it’s on the way to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. Meaning it is still just a few days from the Alentejo coast. The Saipem left Morocco yesterday late afternoon, and is expected in Las Palmas on the 8 May 2018.
We should recall that before the Saipem moved to Morocco, it was in Las Palmas for a short period (when they were forced to abandon the Cyprus drilling). So it looks like Las Palmas is a holding bay for ships such as Saipem 12000 and others.
The two support vessels to Saipem 12000, being the Vos Purpose and Vos Prime are anchored in Tanger. Which is also very close to the Alentejo's Port of Sines.
According to official sources the Saipem 12000, once it has the final approval to drill, it will move directly to drilling location (Santola 1X), while the two support vessels will travel between the Port of Sines and the drilling ship.
The ENI/Galp chess game - are they playing the "waiting game"?
It looks like that ENI/Galp may know more than we all do. After all let’s not forget that the Portuguese Environmental Agency has until the 18 May 2018 to give their opinion about whether an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) should or not be a requirement.
Looking at the environmental agency performance on various environmental issues and their risks, I expect that once again they will snub their nose at both the environment, public health, and all the other inherent risks associated with the drilling. After all they are well know for going against public opinion. It should not come as a surprise if they play true to norm.
What’s the bottom line?
Guess the time is getting closer for ASMAA to lodge our first injunction. We will use all legal resources at our disposal to stop the Saipem 12000 from drilling. But we need your support ... please DONATE to help with pilling legal process costs.
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ASMAA Algarve Surf and Marine Activities Association
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