English Dutch French German Portuguese Spanish

OH NO! A jack-up support platform seen from Praia da Rocha in Portimao?

The image above shows, what seems to be, a Jack-up Support Platform seen from Praia da Rocha in Portimao since the 26th of August - It all started with a message on Facebook, asking if they had started with the exploration of oil and gas, as there is a platform offshore just off Praia da Rocha. This was followed by one of our members asking if a vessel they had seen at sea could be a seismic survey ship?

As we had received two different types of observations, we did a bit of research to determine if there was a record online of the vessels and according to the “Marine Traffic Website” Click here to go to marine traffic site,  there is a record that the dredging vessel “FREJA R” would be in the Portimao area between the 25th and 28th of August 2014, but we could not find any information about the platform.

There hasn’t been any information divulged to the public, and taking into account that dredging of the Portimao Port has been in the news on and off for a couple of years, I would have expected a big “ra-ra” about it in the local and national press as it is of “national and regional interest”, but found nothing.

Update 30 August 2014: Aparently the dredging ship has been seen around Allbufeira.


This is the actual dredging ship "FREJA R" - seen around Albufeira

 dredging platform portimao-frejar


We mobilised our team and armed with a camera, they went to Praia da Rocha, and a little while later photos were taken of the platform which was located at approximately 5Km from the beach and visible from the shoreline. The photos are clear evidence of this. 

This is the actual vessel in the water - Jack-up Platform - Offshore Operations Support Vessel.

 dredging platform portimao3


About the Jack-up Offshore Operations Support Platform, and what is it Doing Here?

We have identified that the platform in the water is a Jack-up support vessel used for various offshore support activities such as accommodation for staff; construction support such as for example, the laying of gas pipelines; dredging, surveys, etc … One interesting fact that we ascertained is that these types of vessels are of the first vessels to be used in support of all types of offshore operations. The other interesting fact is that these type of platforms do not get moved very long distances normally unless they are being towed.


Now what offshore operations do we have currently running in the Algarve we have to ask? And what is this vessel doing in the waters off Portimao?


UPDATE: (30 August 2014)

We have been informed by the Portimao Capitania in writing that the Jack-up Platform requested authorisation to anchor and that they are in transit. We have asked a few more questions - for how long will it stay in Portimao? and if the final destination is in Portuguese maritime waters? - We will update this info as soon as we've received their reply.

 UPDATE: (1 September 2014)

Unconfirmed report this afternoon that the platform is being towed in the west direction towards (Sagres), but destination still unknown.



We’ve been warning for approximately two years about the risk to the Algarve of the upcoming oil and gas exploration, we are running a petition; we have asked questions everywhere and received no answers, or if they replied it was non-satisfactory replies (I am being polite here)…


As a result, we are asking ourselves if this platform is part of the oil and gas offshore project for the Algarve South Coast?  We will be monitoring the situation ...


We also received this photo which was taken on the 26 August 2014 by Sandra Gaia. Taken with a long lenz - between Praia da Rocha and Praia do Vau in Portimao. This platform is not dredging sand for the beaches between Lagoa and Albufeira, its in transit and has stopped off the coast of Portimao. But its a clear live example of what is in store for the Algarve.

dredging platform portimao 2


Imagine 100’s of these platforms and a few hundreds of oil and gas rigs spread through out the Algarve coastline, is this what you as a local, and all our visitors want to see in the Algarve? How will it impact on your life, on your business, or on your financial stability? On our environment?




If you want answers, and if you are against it, like we and many thousands that have already voiced their discord are, then join our combined voices by signing the online petition, by downloading support material from our site, by donating to our campaign against the proposed oil and gas exploration, so that we have the necessary funds to keep on running it …


What can YOU do? Lots of things that you can help, here’s a list:

Link:  Click here to go to info about what YOU can do. 


ASMAA campaigns are funded entirely by donations from members across the world. Will you chip in a few euros? Link: Click here for our Donation Page


Donate 10, 25, 50, 100 Euros or whatever amount you see as appropriate.

ELETRONIC BANK TRANSFER:  ASMAA Algarve Surf and Marine Activities Association
NIB: 0038 0000 40309681771 32 (If you are in Portugal)
IBAN: PT50 0038 0000 40309681771 32 (For International payments)

YOU CAN ALSO DONATE VIA PAYPAL as a gift to a friend: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


PETITION LINK: Sign the Petition and get 5 of your friends to sign it as well


Thank you
The ASMAA Team


+3 # Facebook Comment 2014-09-02 17:14
É bom que os Portugueses reflictam sobre os interesses de alguns, ao autorizarem prospecção de petróleo na Costa Algarvia.....

Certamente virão imensos iluminados afirmar, que até será um factor que acabará com a crise, que iremos ficar prósperos e que o preço da gasolina descerá para um décimo do que pagamos!! Era bom que nos unissemos contra este atentado ao Ambiente, numa altura em que muitos regressam do Algarve, pensem se gostariam que fosse das últimas vezes que usufruíram daquele Paraíso, aliás estão sempre a dizer que o turismo e o nosso mar são as nossas maiores riquezas....

(continua no proximo posto)
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+2 # Facebook Comment 2014-09-02 17:16

E agora querem destruí-lo??

Começam a aparecer automóveis eléctricos, até já existem protótipos de alguns movidos a água salgada....

Já interesses obscuros permitiram que fossem plantados eucaliptos, que provocaram a destruição dos solos, aliás não vemos a Chanceler Merkell a autorizar o seu cultivo p.ex. na Floresta Negra....isso fica para os Países Periféricos com ratings de "Lixo".....

Para que os nossos filhos tenham Futuro, seria importante que os Portugueses acordassem.....
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+2 # R.K.B. 2014-09-02 14:37
This probably have no relevans to anything,but why is the dredging ship coming the whole way down from Denmark,don"t they have any down here?
This is a dredging ship from the mainland Jutland on the Northeastcoast.
The name is not Frega R,but Freja R.
Freja is an old Nordic name.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+1 # ASMAA 2014-09-02 14:47
OOPS :cry: Spell check was faulty :sigh:
Thanks for warning us. Been fixed.
Regarding the rest - I guess its an example of what's in store on everything else :-?

Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+4 # lucan mulder 2014-09-01 21:05
I think that the oil companies and who ever signed this deal has not got the people of Portugal in their main interest. do not believe the propaganda from the oil companies, about jobs created and benefits. there is nothing in this deal for the people of Portugal. no cheaper oil, only a handful of jobs compared to everyone here in the Algarve who depends on tourism and clean seas, fisherman are already being told they can't sell clams and shellfish because of pollution imagine what will happen when there is a big leak or a slow leak . WAKE UP PEOPLE. Say no to Oil exploration in the Algarve
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
-4 # PP 2014-08-31 19:45
(continues from last post) If anyone from the algarve tries to remember, this isn't the first time that this kind of operation takes place in our coast. the diference is that they used a larger ship instead of the platform. At least i remember it more than once, and for sure there are records of this.
So... even if i believe that the petrol/gas company's are studiyng this possibility, wich i think it's completely wrong and undesirable, i don't thing ASMAA should make this kind of propaganda for raising money on this kind of week and mileading information...
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+2 # ASMAA 2014-08-31 19:56

Thank you for your post, but we need to put the record straight.



The Freja R is dredging sand for 6 beaches between Lagoa and Albufeira.

The Jack-up Platform was found between Praia da Rocha and Praia do Vau. And according to the Capitania de Portimao is in transit and requested to anchor.

If you READ the article there's an update in it about the current situation.

Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
-3 # PP 2014-08-31 19:44
Hi there, first of all i want to thank ASMAA for raising awarness for the possibility of this oil thing being built in Algarve.
However,there's some things that need a lot of backing up...
for instance, today i saw on the portuguese tv news the refered Boat "FREJA R". And, as it may come to a surprise for some of you, the ship is simply there to pump sand to some of the beaches that were shortened by the severe winter we had this year... wich makes the platform the place from wich they get the sand using pumps...
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+2 # ASMAA 2014-09-01 07:06

Ha! Main stream media - interesting that it has taken them 5 days to report on the dredging by FREJA R (who's photo is in the article above) but they failed to report about the jack-up platform (which is also in the article above), don't you think?

Your objection regarding our fund raiser to run another awareness campaign in the Algarve about the risks and what is planned, we find interesting ... to say the least!

But then I guess "some interests" with very, very deep pockets would be against anyone taking the trouble to ensure that as many local people are being informed as possible about what is being planned for the Algarve - instead they would prefer to be able to continue to use the mushroom methodology.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
-5 # sherlock 2014-08-31 10:59
with a simple search on Google it´s clearly obvious that the platform you are talking about is a simple dredge platform. stop with this false information about oil and gas. get a job and stop asking for donations.... 1000€ for "this will help us to pay printers for campaign materials, travelling, telephone call charges, etc." i want that too! maybe i should quit my current job and start false rumours as well, remove this false news or i will report this blog!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+4 # ASMAA 2014-08-31 11:51

Its obvious that you have not read the article itself, otherwise you would not be making such stupid comments.
These types of platforms can, and are indeed used for a variety of purposes, including the laying of gas pipelines, etc ...


If you have a problem with what we do and what we stand up for you have a quick solution - unsubrescribe from our notifications. Simple.

That you have bought the BS from the oil industry its clear (you probrably are being paid by them to troll the Internet - I would not be surprised if thats the case). The facts are that there are alternatives to hidrocarbons ... and the Algarve has the perfect environment for solar and wind energies that are much less riskier.

(continuous ...)
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+4 # ASMAA 2014-08-31 11:53

My recommendation is that you stop looking at your own personal interests and start thinking about the planet and its people and about what will be your own personal legacy that you will be leaving future generations.

By the way, I can never understand the cowardly way of hiding behind an anonomous identity - before you open your mouth to talk crap, the first thing you should do is identify yourself and not hide behind an anonimous profile - that just shows the type of ethical and moral fibre you are made up of.

So my suggestion? Get a real life ... :-*
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+3 # Francisca 2014-08-31 18:12

On the 29 August 2014 at 9:10 a.m

At Desidério Jorge Silva , tourism president of Algarve, facebook profile in a public photo , where he thanks all of us for helping making the Algarve the biggest holiday destination in the country, I asked a few questions:

« What is happening on the sea in front of Praia da Rocha?

... »

Desidério Jorge Silva, tourism president of Algarve, did not answer to my question , instead José Casimiro answered to it asking me to not say nonsense things and that the platform is a machine that is collecting sand to put it in the neediest beaches and also commented that these kind of comments may compromise the Algarve and particularly Portimão

You can read the details (in Portuguese) at next link ...

Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+4 # Andre Coetzee 2014-08-31 12:12
Somebody is against the work ASMAA is doing and does not want this information public. I wonder why :P :sigh:

Are you peraphs working for Repsol? :P :P :sigh: :o :-*

Mate, the Jackup platforms are used for dredging but not only. They are indeed used as rightly stated in the article for laying pipes, accommodation, and to hold materials amongst other things.

The question the article asks is what is it doing in the waters of the Algarve?
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+4 # Skipper 2014-08-30 14:08
Actually the dredging vessel is in the water. It is off the coast of Albufeira. I work at a dolphin watching company as a skipper and i can guarantee you that it is there. Don't know nothing about the other ship though. But you guys should rectify the text where you talk about the dredging vessel.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+3 # ASMAA 2014-08-30 15:22
Thank you. When the article was written we had no clue were the dredging ship was.

We were instead told that the "PLatform" was in fact busy with dredging.

Now we have been informed by Portimao Capitania that the platform is in transit and they requested that to anchor.

We have asked a few more questions about the Jack-up platform, but we are awaiting a reply from the Capitania de Portimao.

Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
-12 # Captain Pete 2014-08-30 09:14
How Dumb!

Don't you guys understand that we need employment here in the Algarve.

An oil strike will guarantee economic security and a much needed income for the workers and residents of this recession-torn wasteland.

Get real and welcome this gift!
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+9 # ASMAA Editor 2014-08-30 09:52
It always amazes us when someone comments without having all the facts that are available.

There's two issues here: One is NEW JOBS

Do you REALLY believe that the oil and gas operation in the Algarve, taking into account that it is a highly specialised field, will create new jobs for locals? And if it does, how many jobs will be created? And at what level/type?

Second Issue:

What happens to the thousands of people that are EMPLOYED (HAVE JOBS) in the tourism and other support industries when tourists stop visiting and the tourism industry becomes a thing of the past?

What is the ratio between new job creation from oil and gas and current job losses from tourism and aligned sectors?

Suggest you research this ... we already have the stats.

Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+3 # ASMAA Editor 2014-08-30 09:57
Captain Pete

Strongly recommend that you go through this presentation which is quite informative.

Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+3 # Jan 2014-08-31 06:23
Dear ASMAA / Captain Pete

Its quite obvious that this will only create very few jobs...and will mainly be foreign expats and specialised engineers.

Imagine what will happen to all the vital tourism and reputation of the Algarve... Impact will be dramatic negatively. Who wants to buy properties looking at oil riggs ?. No body....

World-wide it will be known that Algarve is not beautiful any more....in addition with the potential risk of oil polution of the beautuful beached and costs...
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+8 # Rui Branco 2014-08-30 14:46
This will never resolve our employment problems, this will be a disaster for our economy, if a disaster ocurrs Algarve economy will soffer for years and years, Algarve needs turism and our resources are dependind on our beaches and landscapes
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+3 # ASMAA 2014-08-30 15:23
We totally agree with you. Why we have done all we can to let the population be aware of what's planned and its impact on all of our lives here in the Algarve.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
+2 # João Reis 2014-09-01 13:50
We don't want to be another Nigeria.
You foul them with that kind of speech and now they starve.
No jobs for locals, high pollution levels on the lands and waters, the fish died and the fresh water resources got contaminated. All around the Niger Delta, just because you found oil.
What once could develop into an wealthy region is becoming now a sick land where no one can survive on their own.

Go search for oil on your backyard, and let us live happily in peace.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
You are here: HomeBlogOffshore Oil and GasOH NO! A jack-up support platform seen from Praia da Rocha in Portimao?
  • ASMAA - Algarve Surf and Marine Activities Association
    NIPC: 510 381 952
    Tel: 00 351 282 182 103
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Rua Dr. Alberto Iria
    Lote 12, R/C Esq
    Porto de Môs
    Lagos 8600-580
Go to top