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The Canary Islands may become a new oil field

Government authorizes Repsol to drill for oil in the Canary Islands.

Oil Platform

Photo: Wikipedia

The Ministry of Industry has granted Repsol permission to make up to three exploration wells for oil in the waters between the Canary Islands and Morocco. The drilling will be done outside of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.

The decision was published today in the Spanish official newspaper “Boletín Oficial del Estado” (BOE).

Repsol is required to have liability insurance of € 40 million, and also a guarantee of € 20 million for environmental damage. They also need to install seismic sensors around all drilling platforms to monitor seismic activity that can be generated by the drilling.

The terms also include that all drilling must be stopped immediately if there is any earthquakes within 75km distance of the platforms, with a strength of 4.5 or more on the Richter scale. After each examination, Repsol has six months to deliver a full report on the survey. The permit is valid for 3 years, and emphasizes that the work should be stopped immediately and appropriate measures should be taken in case of threat to people, property or the environment.

Equipment and schedule:
The drilling equipment to be used has a capacity to drill to 12,000 meter and down to a maximum depth of 3,500 meters. The first three wells will reach a depth of 6,900 m at a maximum water depth of 1,022 meters. Drilling is expected to commence in the last quarter of this year.

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