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Minister: ‘Oil Drilling in Croatia’s Adriatic to Start in Next 3-5 Years’

PanoramaDespite mounting pressure from opposition groups, the Croatian government is pushing on with its plans to start exploiting oil and gas in Croatia’s Adriatic…

Speaking on Saturday in Seget Donji, near the Dalmatian town of Trogir, Croatia’s Minister of Economy Ivan Vrdoljak said that he expected that drilling for oil on Croatia’s side of the Adriatic would start in the next 3-5 years.

Vrdoljak said that the Croatian government, nor the international community would give up on ‘smart things such as oil platforms’, because Croatia, its citizens and the industry needs cheaper energy.

“The Adriatic needs to be preserved from ‘dirty’ boats and this is the only way to have controlled energy sources,” Vrdoljak said, adding that exploitation of oil in Croatia’s Adriatic should start in the next 3-5 years.

Recently Greenpeace CEO Kumi Naidoo said that the organisation supported local Croatian groups who opposed drilling in the Adriatic, saying that it was ‘a fight for preserving the planet’ and urged the companies awarded licences recently to withdraw.

Pressure from protest groups mounting

Pressure from protest groups mounting

“In Africa at the start of similar projects citizens were promised great benefits, but eventually only several senior state officials and executives of the companies doing the job benefitted, while the local population was left to deal with the consequences,” said Greenpeace’s CEO.

Naidoo believes that the Adriatic coast could be the centre for producing solar electricity, which he says would create more jobs without endangering the environment.

“Scientists have established that 80 percent of fossil fuels must stay in the earth to prevent disastrous climate change,” he said.

U.S-based Marathonoil, Austria’s OMV, Italian multinational ENI, London-based Medoilgas, and INA, owned by the Croatian government and Hungary’s MOL, have all been awarded licences to explore and exploit 29 block areas, ranging from 1,000 – 1,600 square kilometres, eight in the northern part of the coast and 21 in central and southern Dalmatia.

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