Repsol cleared to begin drilling for oil off Canary Islands

Offshore staff

MADRIDRepsol could begin drilling off the Canary Islands within months after the removal of the last legal hurdle to a possible $7-billion oil exploration project.

In 2012, Spain's 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 on environmental grounds. The seven appeals against the government’s ruling have now been rejected.

Repsol said exploration could start in the third quarter, and commercial extraction could begin in 2019, if findings are positive.

Repsol estimates that the Canary Islands project Sandia (Melon), which has a probability of geological success of 12% to 20%, could deliver 330 MMbbl of recoverable resources, and that the project Zanahoria, which has a 14% possibility of success, could deliver 107 MMbbl.


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