Portugal's Galp Energia and its Italian partner ENI have abandoned plans to drill Portugal's first deep-water offshore exploration well due to legal problems after injunctions and protests by environmental activists.
The project was being prepared by the consortium off the Alentejo region's Vicentine coast, known for its beaches and large natural park.
"As for Portugal, we've decided to abandon the exploration," Galp CEO Gomes da Silva told a conference call with analysts while presenting third-quarter results and an improved full-year outlook..
In a separate statement, Galp and ENI said several judicial proceedings regarding the project made it impossible to continue the exploration activities, adding that they "regret being unable to assess the potential offshore resources of the country".
In July, Galp exploration and production director Thore Kristiansen said the consortium had only modest hopes of success, but the project looked "interesting enough so that we at least have to try".
The Portuguese Environmental Agency in May allowed the drilling to be carried out between Sept. 15, 2018 and Jan. 15, 2019, but set various conditions that the partners had been trying to meet.
In August, a local court accepted an injunction filed by environmental activists, effectively suspending the exploration.
(Reporting By Andrei Khalip)
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