Oil firm admits exploratory drilling in Canaries 'unsuccessful'
Spanish oil giant Repsol has announced that it has not found oil during its two-month exploratory drilling off the coast of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura and the volumes of gas discovered at the site do not justify costly extraction work.
|The Rowan Renaissance drilling ship used by Repsol|
The explorations, which were authorised by the Spanish government despite massive opposition in the Canaries, where the authorities have filed a string of legal challenges to block the work, have now been halted and the drilling ship used since 18 November is to be redeployed off the coast of Africa. Sources at Repsol said early today that a total of 750 personnel had been employed in the drilling work and the results were not a surprise given that the explorations had been given "only a 15-20% chance of success". "The analysis of the samples shows that, although there is some gas, it is insuffcient in volume or quality to warrant extraction. Furthermore, the layers of hydrocarbons located are too thin to be viable" said the firm in a statement. The news has been welcomed by opponents of the search for oil off the Canaries, who have always maintained that a hypothetical oil industry would be a serious threat to the islands' tourism.