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Spain clears Repsol to start drilling off Canary Islands

Source: Reuters - Wed 13th Aug 2014
Spain clears Repsol to start drilling off Canary Islands

The Spanish government has given Repsol the green light to begin a EU 5.25 Bln oil exploration project off the Canary Islands.

Industry Ministry Jose Manuel Soria said last month that Repsol would start prospecting 3 months after approval was granted.

In 2012, the government granted permits for exploration off the coasts of the islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, but they were frozen while courts heard a number of appeals following widespread opposition over the potential environmental damage.

Despite protests by political parties, unions and environmental groups, Spain's Supreme Court rejected appeals against the ruling in June.

The industry ministry gave the permits to begin prospecting the so-called Canary-1 and Canary-9 sites, found in the Atlantic off the coasts of the two islands, according to the government's official gazette on Wednesday.

The permits were granted to Repsol and its project partners Woodside Energy Iberia and RWE Dea AG, the gazette said.

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