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Galp/ENI: The Public Consultation Farce

If we tried, we could not get a better plot for a movie series than to use the Portuguese oil exploration environment. I can guarantee that it would be a real box office buster and could even beat the success of the “Dallas” series.

The cast could be based on individuals from Italian government controlled giant oil company ENI, the Portuguese government revolving door oil company - Galp, the Portuguese government represented by its top echelons: the government Big Shots especially identified, and would include individuals from the Ministry of the Sea, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Economy. Let’s also not forget other actor’s parts that could be drawn from government agencies such as the ENMC, DGRM and APA amongst others.


Off course, such a movie would have all the normal disclaimers “starting with all resemblance to any living individuals, situations, etc … are just a figment of your imagination.”


But we are not trying to write the script for a movie series a la “Dallas”; unfortunately we are talking about real life scenarios.


The Public Consultation Farce

We could be forgiven for imaging that the individuals involved in planning this whole saga, used as planning boards the back of old style packs of cigarette boxes of 30 cigarettes.


Well, we have a so-called “public consultation phase” called by ENI as part of their EIS which openned on Monday, March 5 and closes on 16 April, but before there’s an environmental impact assessment (EIA) . Should the EIA be deemed by the “esteemed” Portuguese Environmental Agency (APA) to be a requirement, we will have another “Public Consultation” phase, because it’s a regulated requirement.


But hold on, didn’t we just have a “Public Consultation” just last year as part of the TUPEM application?

Didn’t this so-called “Public Consultation” summarily ignore 42,000 objections against 4 submissions in favour?

Didn’t further “Consultation” involving mayors from affected council regions also take place? With all of the mayors submitting very substantial objections? Again, these objections were swiped under the carpet.


Are we really to believe that this new “Public Consultation” is anything more than another “Tick the Box” exercise?

Who are they kidding?

It’s clear to anyone with at least two brain cells, that the Portuguese government is just bulldozing each an every one of us in a desperate attempt to ensure that the ENI’s Saipem 12000 will drill anytime from May 2018 to April 2019.


UPDATE - 16 MAY 2018: And the farse continues. Drilling now authorised by government for between September 2018 and January 2019 after latest public consultation.


But like my dad used to say “The show it isn’t over until the fat lady sings”




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