Proposed Petroceltic drilling off Puglia prompts protests
Proposed drilling for oil or gas off Italy’s Puglia coast by Dublin- based exploration firm Petroceltic has sparked widespread protests among Pugliese authorities and environmentalist lobbies.
Eighteen mayors from towns in the Gargano national park area are meeting this morning to express their concern that the nature reserve off the Tremiti Islands would be adversely affected by “exploratory” drilling along the Adriatic coast. The isles are in an area of natural beauty and a tourist attraction.
On the Italian parliament’s go-ahead for the exploration, Petroceltic chief executive Brian Ó Catháin last month said: “We . . . believe that the new law removes the existing uncertainty concerning exploration, development and production activities in Italian waters.”
While environment minister Corrado Clini yesterday suggested that the “soundings” in Puglia would be merely “exploratory” and that a “final authorisation” to extract oil or gas had not yet been granted, local authorities and environmentalists are concerned.
Petroceltic had no comment on the issue yesterday.