The injunction application is an attempt to stop the first offshore well drilling by Galp/ENI which was scheduled to occur between April and June 2017, with only 10 day notice. But this application does not eliminate the risk, as the TUPEM licence granted by the DGRM on 11 January 2017 is valid until 10 January 2019.
But a note of caution:
... we need to keep in mind that only the application was accepted, but the injunction has not yet been granted. We also need to understand that preliminary or temporary injunctions are not conclusive as to the rights of the parties, and they do not determine the merits of a case or decide issues in controversy ...
Injunctions are just legal tools to prevent threatened wrong, further injury, and irreparable harm or injustice until such time as the rights of the parties can be ultimately settled. Preliminary injunctive relief ensures the ability of the court to render a meaningful decision and serves to prevent a change of circumstances that would hamper or block the granting of proper relief following a trial on the merits of the case.
A motion for a preliminary injunction is never granted automatically. When the discretion of the court is exercised in favour of a temporary injunction, it just maintains the status quo until the final trial.
Today is a happy day, its a day of celebration for all that are actively involved in this cause, its another small step, some more terrain was gained in this fight for motivating the government and the oil companies to do the right thing “keep the oil and gas in the ground”, but the fight is far from over – its just another small victory.
Our fight will only stop when all the oil and gas exploration contracts are rescinded, as well as when all the current concession areas are cancelled nationally, both onshore as well as offshore. Because cancelling contracts on its own is not enough if the concession areas remain open, as we run the risk of new contracts being signed in the future.
But for now, we celebrate … if nothing else we bought some time, preventing the drill from going ahead as planed in the next few weeks … another small victory!