Economy and Maritime Minister António Costa Silva said in Parliament on Thursday that Portugal could now have an important natural gas hub in the Algarve and could produce this scarce fuel in Europe at the moment, given Russia’s threat to cut off. deliveries to European Union countries that are almost exclusively dependent on it.
Costa Silva had to face statements made by PSD MPs in 2018 when he was CEO of oil company Partex (owned by Gulbenkia and later sold to Thai shareholders) and said it was “no longer worth investing more in Portugal,” he said. so given the hurdles and obstacles that the company he runs faced for the government at the time it wanted to explore offshore gas in the Algarve.
“On the Algarve coast, I have huge gas reserves, but it was not possible to move forward, so I say it was not worth investing in,” the minister said, stressing: “If there are companies today that are interested in investing in these reserves and if they come to me, no reservations. I don’t think outside the box. I don’t have any boxes. ” However, the minister assured that there is still no deep mining project at sea.
Costa Silva was consulted this Thursday in a joint hearing of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Public Works, Planning and Housing and the Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries, in particular in the context of the 2022 State Budget Review.
Four years ago, when he led Partex’s fate, the current Minister of Economy said his company had just decided to stop investing in Portugal and did not dispute the termination of the oil exploration and exploration agreements with the government.
“We simply decided not to invest more in Portugal, it’s not worth it. We invested in the Algarve because there was a government where the highly criticized Minister Álvaro Santos Pereira was concerned about resource development and I realized the country needed a wave of industrialization and created wealth and jobs. “, he said.
And he explained, “When the government changed, we went into the opposite cycle, which is to govern according to mayors and public opinion without a clear view of the significance of the Algarve project,” he said.
According to officials, the project [do Algarve] was “likely and workable,” and seismic campaigns were conducted. He also adds that he has completed projects in Peniche and Alentejo.
According to the then president of Partex, “policies against business and profit do not create favorable conditions for investment and development in the country.”