Portugal ponders natural gas hub in the Algarve

 In Energy, News

Portugal’s Minister of the Economy, António Costa e Silva says the government may “resuscitate” the exploration of natural gas reserves off the coast of the Algarve.

The former oil company boss who headed Partex Oil and Gas from 2001-2003 and who worked at the French Petroleum Institute in Paris, said that Portugal could have an important natural gas hub in the Algarve producing gas which is currently scarce in Europe.
The minister who oversaw the design of Portugal’s Recovery and Resilience Plan in 2022 was speaking on Thursday in parliament when he was confronted by PSD deputies with statements he had made in 2018 when he was CEO of Partex (owned by the Gulbenkian and then sold on to Thai shareholders) and uttered the immortal words “it’s not worthwhile investing anymore (in gas exploration) in Portugal”.
Costa e Silva argued that he had said that at the time taking into account the blocks and barriers that the company he was leading had to face from the government when he wanted to explore offshore gas in the Algarve, but faced huge obstacles from environmental groups.
“There are huge reserves of natural gas along the Algarve coast but we couldn’t move forward and that’s why I said it wasn’t worthwhile investing”, he said.
“If there are companies interested in investing in exploring these reserves today, and are prepared to jump on board, I would have no reservations (in moving forward). I’m not thinking outside of the box, I don’t have any box”, he said.