Numerous campaign groups are opposed to prospecting near to the Balearics.

22-08-2013Natalia Navarro

The Alianza Mar Blava (Blue Sea) believes that 2017 will be a crucial year for preventing any developments in oil prospecting in the Mediterranean. The current year has been notable for there having been an end to potential prospecting in the Gulf of Lion by Schlumberger and the denial of authorisation to the Medsalt-2 project under the auspices of the Trieste-based National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics in waters off the Balearic Islands.

In the case of Schlumberger, the national ministry of environment archived the project in September, having resolved in July that there should be a termination of the procedure for environmental impact assessment. The project can always be revived, but the whole procedure would have to re-start from scratch.

Although there is still the potential for prospecting between the Balearics and the mainland, the alliance considers that 2016 has been very positive in its fight against prospecting. It also draws attention to its having furthered the process for declaring a specially protected area of Mediterranean importance (SPAMI) for the cetacean migration corridor. This is due to be approved in 2018 at the conference of parties to the Barcelona Convention.

The alliance has also proposed a law to declare Spanish waters free of hydrocarbon prospecting. The Balearic parliament is expected to support this in the the new year and forward the proposal to Congress in Madrid.

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