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Oil company says ocean is rich 


Oil experts believe drilling off the coasts of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote could provide the equivalent of ten per cent of the total consumption in Spain.

This is the prediction of the Ministry of Industry which seems to be echoed by the confidence of one of the companies which would be involved.

German company RWE says drilling in the Atlantic between the Canary Islands and the coast of Morocco could produce at least 1,390 million barrels.

RWE has a 20% share in the bid made by oil giant Repsol (which has 50%) and the Australian company, Woodside Energy with 30%.

As part of its antioil campaign, Fuerteventura Cabildo has distributed a publicity brochure created by RWE to attract investors. In it, the company also highlights the “favourable” tax environment of the area.

Both Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are vehemently against drilling, as is the Canary Government and a wide range of organisations and institutions, plus pressure groups and environmental platforms. They believe oil drilling poses a very serious threat to the Canary Islands and any spill would ruin its ecostructure and tourism.

At present, Repsol is preparing detailed environmental reports which will go out for public consultation, although initial permission has already been granted by the Spanish Government.

The oil companies want tests to start in 2014 and have identified three areas off the north coast of Fuerteventura which they describe as “drill ready”.