Canary Islands oil plans prompt travel industry, environmental concerns / News / The Foreigner

Canary Islands oil plans prompt travel industry, environmental concerns. The Canary Islands are a very popular destination for Scandinavians but there are fears planned oil exploration drilling could mar the area and its sunshine. Norwegian tourism levels there have increased 50 per cent since 2010. The first six months of this year showed a 7.1 per cent rise in the number of Norwegian tourists in comparison to last year. But while 10.6 million foreign tourists visited the Islands in 2013 – an increase of 2,000,000 since 2010 – and tourist interest levels continue to grow, figures from the Canary Islands Statistics Bureau ISTAC show, plans to explore for oil are set to proceed this year.

oil, canaryislands, norway, tourism



The Foreigner Logo

The Foreigner is an online publication for English speakers living or who have an interest in Norway. Whether it’s a glimpse of news or entertainment you’re after, there’s no need to leave your linguistic armchair. You don’t need to cry over the demise of the English pages of Aftenposten.no, The Foreigner is here!

Norske nyheter på engelsk fra Norge. The Foreigner er en engelskspråklig internett avis for de som bor eller som er interessert i Norge.

Google+ Google+ Twitter Facebook RSS RSS



News Article

LATEST:

}

Canary Islands oil plans prompt travel industry, environmental concerns

Published on Monday, 4th August, 2014 at 10:01 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock and Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 4th August 2014 at 10:51.

The Canary Islands are a very popular destination for Scandinavians but there are fears planned oil exploration drilling could mar the area and its sunshine.

Map of the Canary Islands
Trouble in paradise? Oil drilling might spoil the sunset for millions of tourists.Map of the Canary Islands
Photo: Wesisnay/Wikimedia Commons


Norwegian tourism levels there have increased 50 per cent since 2010. The first six months of this year showed a 7.1 per cent rise in the number of Norwegian tourists in comparison to last year.

But while 10.6 million foreign tourists visited the Islands in 2013 – an increase of 2,000,000 since 2010 – and tourist interest levels continue to grow, figures from the Canary Islands Statistics Bureau ISTAC show, plans to explore for oil are set to proceed this year.

According to figures from the oil company BP and the EIA statistics agency, oil accounts for almost half of Spain’s energy consumption. Around 98% is imported.

Energy company Repsol, who were given the go-ahead to start exploration following a court battle, estimated that the surrounding areas of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are to produce 100,000 barrels of oil. This is believed to be enough to cover about 10% of Spain’s annual oil consumption.

Spanish logistics, warehousing, and shipping agency company Canarship, formed in 2000, is one firm providing services to the oil industry within the exploration sector at the port of Las Palmas.

Two companies on their client list are French CGG Veritas, and Oslo-based Petroleum Geo Services (PGS).

Tourism representatives and environmentalists have expressed disquiet about the oil exploration drilling programme, scheduled to begin in November/December this year some 60 kilometres (about 37 miles) out to sea.

Nordic travel industry companies and interest organisations had a meeting with Spanish energy company Repsol in the autumn of 2013.

Rolf Forsdahl, director of the Enterprise Federation of Norway’s (Virke) foreign travel division, told Aftenposten last week that “We expressed concern and requested that the tourist industry’s appeal points and arguments were taken into account.”

The meeting abated their worry level somewhat, however, according to him

“Nobody can guarantee that tourists won’t notice anything, but the visual pollution is not likely to be major. Land facilities will be placed far away from beaches and tourist areas, and exploration and production will be so far from shore that the danger the tourism pearls will be industrialised is small,” he added.

Ricardo Aguilar, research director of environmental organisation Oceana in Europe, thinks the government “handing out exploration permits that benefit that benefit just a few people, while putting the rest of Spain in danger of losing countless essential and extremely fragile habitats” is “a disgrace”.

"The Canary Islands' deep-sea ecosystems are unique and they sustain species that are vital for the tourism and fisheries in the area. It is irresponsible to destroy these habitats in a few years to facilitate the extraction of a finite and highly polluting energy resource," The Guardian reported him as saying.



Published on Monday, 4th August, 2014 at 10:01 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock and Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 4th August 2014 at 10:51.

This post has the following tags: oil, canaryislands, norway, tourism.





  
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!