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The Portuguese Gas and Oil Giveaway - The Robbery of the Century?

Vast quantities of gas and oil resources are in the process of being discovered under Portuguese waters. The government and executives of oil and gas companies, which includes such names as Repsol, Galp and Partex (an offshore company owned by the Portuguese Gulbenkian Foundation) have been telling us how great this will be for the country. But will it?


Let’s just accept that the government is speaking the truth for a change and that Portugal is going to get extremely wealthy, pay our debt quickly and we will all be running smilling to the bank every day.


So what will the Government be spending these new-found riches on?


This wealth will be leaving Portugal, thanks to all the deals made between our "very clean and ethical" Portuguese government and these same multinational oil companies.

While people in Portugal are suffering, and we are experiencing more and more cuts in public services due to lack of government funds, when people are facing one of the worst recessions in the Portuguese history - and being told to tighten their belts, to grin and bear the painful cuts to health, education, salary and pensions - these same giant oil companies are preparing to remove Portugal’s valuable natural resources and divvy up the billions of euros of profits between their shareholders.


Several countries have recently changed their laws to reclaim a greater share of gas and oil wealth, Portugal as usually, does the opposite. So one must ask why?

Even many supporters of the Portuguese Gas projects rarely try to defend the outrageously generous terms of Portugal’s gas exploration agreements in public. Instead they rely on the myth that the deal, once done, cannot be changed. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, there is a worldwide trend of governments reclaiming ownership of privatised gas and oil reserves. In 2006 in Russia, the state-owned Gazprom took back control from Shell of the largest integrated oil and gas field in the world, Sakhalin-2, after Shell was accused of breaking environmental laws.

Bolivia nationalised its entire gas industry in 2006. At first, the reactions from the corporations and international markets in both cases were furious, with dire warnings given about how the countries would suffer from lost investment. But these warnings came to nothing: in the end the oil giants simply went along with these changes when they realised there were still enormous profits to be made.

There are many examples of successful nationalised oil and gas industries. Norway is one of the best examples of state-controlled extraction of gas and oil.

Venezuela has begun nationalising the industry within the past few years. Most Venezuelans lived in degrading poverty throughout the 20th century, while enormous revenues from oil and gas went to foreign companies and a tiny Venezuelan elite. The government has redirected oil wealth into public spending, bringing health, education and dignity to the poor.

And Repsol is now embroiled in an expropriation fight with the Argentinian government according to their Consolidated Management Report of 2012.  YES! The same Repsol that is involved in our waters, or if not the same "technical" company, at least it is one of the subsidiaries of the group.

Even if Portugal’s gas and oil fields were not nationalised, hundreds of billions of euros could be raised if Portugal took a similar share in its own gas, as has being done in many other countries.


Are we the Portuguese being robbed blind by our own government? If such unfavourable decisions for Portugal and its people have been made, and we are not benefiting from it, so who in our elite and government is benefiting?



If you believe that we need to question this state of affairs PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION "SAY NO TO OIL AND GAS IN THE ALGARVE"  http://tinyurl.com/nxqqrg2



0 # Stuart 2013-10-28 05:36
When Shell and BP were exploring the Central North Sea in the late 1960s, and gas was already being produced off Norfolk, the governments of the day encouraged the oil companies to explore in what was a very hostile and technically difficult environment at the time. Once oil was flowing from Brent and Forties, and the very large capital investment had been made by the multi-nationals , then, and only then, was Petroleum Revenue Tax introduced. I see nothing wrong with what is happening here in Portugal, if you are too punitive at the outset then there is no encouragement to start exploring. As to blaming a Government for not nationalising the oil and gas acreage....!!! Isn't there enough Socialism in this country? Isn't that mentality of state ownership, state intervention and state involvement the reason why Portugal is in the marxist mess it is in? Let the oil companies get on with what they're good at, and the revenues will come if there is something worth developing.
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+2 # Laurinda S 2013-10-28 08:27
In our opinion the reason Portugal is in the mess it is in, is not because its a socialism state, but rather because of "market" lobbies, pressure, and incentives paid or given to the Portuguese leaders signing the contracts?

I'm afraid that I dont have much faith in their integrity - its clear that if you analyse current scenarios that there is a clear bias towards doing what is best for the "market" aka big corp rather than what is best for the country and its people.

If our leaders had real integrity and "balls" a balance could be reached in a win-win scenario ... but thats not the case at face value in our opinion.
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0 # Stuart 2013-10-29 22:13
So it is not the oil companies that are really the problem, it is the quality and integrity of the politicians who accept the incentives! Therefore the exploration for oil and gas that might alleviate Portugal's economic situation is still a good thing, if the politicians had integrity.
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+1 # Laurinda S 2013-10-30 06:22
It takes two to tango Stuart.

You cant just state that its only the polititians, because the oil executives shoulder as much blame as they do.

No, in my personal opinion ... its lack of values - egos, greed and power thirst that is at play. ON BOTH SIDES!
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0 # Demetrio 2014-09-24 05:16
Oil is dead. EVERY functioning mind hss to see that.
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-1 # Paula 2016-06-04 09:34
Demetrio spot on…while the rest of the world is weaning themselves off dirty environmentally destructive and public health hazard Portugal now wants to BEGIN…?!!! Makes no sense at all especially when Portugal is particularly well placed and privileged with sun, wind and tidal. Portugal could be the renewables energy leader in Europe...
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+5 # jennifer griffyn 2013-10-24 18:08
The British ;government did the same thing in the 1970's when the local governments didnt have the cash to collect the waste bins. The export of capital from the use of natural resources could be stopped but the combination of bad information and timing and because the information doesnt relate to people, the voters dont see the relevance to their poverty and will not be informed. education levels in POrtugal do not arm people to take the jobs,of course these jobs will go to foreigners.
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+3 # Laurinda S 2013-10-24 18:18

You are quite correct. Jobs will not go to local people especially in the Algarve, except maybe for unskilled and semi-skilled jobs, the majority will indeed go to foreigners. And with Poseidon being in its last legs, it makes business sense that Repsol will transfer people from Spain or other parts of the world before employing anyone local.
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