Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland
Advertisement

Spain okays oil and gas search off Canary Islands

Share this article

Spain okays oil and gas search off Canary Islands
The Spanish government believes oil drilling could create 250,000 jobs over 20 years across Spain. Photo: Desiree Martín/AFP
09:15 CEST+02:00
The Spanish government on Thursday gave oil giant Repsol the green light to explore for oil and gas off the coast of the Canary Islands, a move environmental groups described as "unjustifiable".

The environment ministry said in a statement it "has issued a favourable environment impact statement".

It said the exploration would take place around 60 kilometres (40 miles) from the shores of the archipelago and stressed its decision was backed by "rigorous" scientific research.

A spokesman for the Spanish oil giant said "the favourable statement showed that the planned activity is compatible with the protection of the environment".

A broad coalition of environmental and conservationist organisations condemned the government decision and warned it could jeopardize the archipelago's vital tourism revenue.

"This is an unjustifiable act which poses a serious threat to the environment and to the islands' main economic activity," a joint statement said.

The statement said seismic surveys could affect marine species and also risk causing major oil spills.

Of all the advanced economies of the OECD grouping, Spain is the most reliant on energy imports, buying in 99.9 percent of its oil and gas.

The current conservative government is hoping to reduce this dependence by developing oil and gas production, a sector that a March study showed could create a quarter of a million jobs over the next two decades.

The news of the government's decision comes two months after the tiny Canary Island of El Hierro  announced plans to become the first in the world fully powered by renewable energy later this year by launching a new wind and water energy plant. 

It also comes in the wake of intense criticism of the Spanish government's attitude to green and solar energy, including a controversial 'sun tax', or levy on consumers who produce energy for their homes using solar panels.  

Don't miss stories about Spain, join The Local on Facebook and Twitter.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

The Swedish university tackling the challenges of tomorrow

Ranked among the world's best young universities in the QS Top 50 Under 50, Linköping University (LiU) uses innovative learning techniques that prepare its students to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Jobs
Click here to start your job search
Advertisement
Advertisement

Popular articles

Advertisement
Advertisement