Oceana opens legal procedures against the Spanish Directorate General for Energy Policy and Mines for hiding information about drilling in the Gulf of Valencia

The Ministry of Industry has not made any response since Oceana first requested information regarding Cairn’s permits in February this year.

Press Release Date: July 30, 2014

Location: Madrid


Oceana Web | email: webadmin@oceana.org | tel.: 202.000.0000

Oceana has opened legal procedures against the Directorate General for Energy Policy and Mines for failing to provide documentary information about hydrocarbon exploration permits for Capricorn Spain (a subsidiary of Cairn Energy) in the Gulf of Valencia. This department of the Ministry of Industry should have provided them with this on 26 May, once the established time had elapsed since Oceana submitted the requests last winter.

“With its refusal to hand over environmental information regarding Cairn’s permits, the Ministry of Industry is favouring a private company over the legitimate interest of citizens to conserve the environment. It is very worrying that, for the umpteenth time, the Administration violates Law 27/600 concerning access to environmental information and hides critical data on potentially hazardous activities for the marine environment and the welfare of the general public,” affirms Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana in Europe.

On 12 February and 6 March Oceana requested the following documents:      

  • The Environmental Protection Programme. Research permits for Albufera, Benifayó and Gandía.
  • The document entitled “Cairn Corporate Responsibility, objectives and organisation”.
  • The document entitled “Research Permits High Seas 1 and High Seas 2. Environmental Protection, Cairn’s Corporate Responsibility”.
  • The civil liability insurance policies contracted by Capricorn Spain Limited to respond to possible damage to people, property or the environment, required as a precondition to the commencement of the investigation work.

Given the lack of response, the request was regarded as accepted due to positive administrative silence, but Oceana did not receive any information whatsoever either during the month established by the law or up to the present time. For this reason, the international marine conservation organisation has decided to take the contentious-administrative route.

More information: Legal action 

Oceana representations concerning the Cairn project