Ministry on oil exploration: All those who have visited the Adriatic coast for 40 years will come to Montenegro

#AdriaticSea #EnvironmentalActivists #Ngo #EnergySector

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Ministry of Economy responded to allegations by environmental activists that Montenegro will lose €800m revenue in tourism sector because no one would like to come to the sea polluted because of oil exploration. The ministry said that all those who had visited the Adriatic coast (including countries which explored and produced oil and gas) for 40 years would come to Montenegro too.

“Those are tourists who visit Italy, which has 1,358 exploration boreholes. Or those tourists who visit Croatia, which has done more than 133 exploring activities in their part of the Adriatic Sea, particularly in Istria where there are 18 gas boreholes. Not to mention the tourists visiting Greece, where in the Prinos, oil field near Thassos island, oil platforms are located 8-18km from the coast. Oil industry and tourism have successfully existed there for about 30 years”, the ministry stated.

It added that oil and gas have been explored and produced in the Adriatic Sea for nearly half a century, and this area remains known as an attractive tourist destination.

“This is the best démenti of the claims presented at today’s NGO sector’s press conference on the oil and gas exploration and production in Montenegro. Opponents of the project have not publicly explained how Italy can be recognised as an attractive tourist destination although there are so many boreholes there? Or how Croatia can also be famous tourist destination, as well as a country with well-developed fishery sector with the aforementioned 133 boreholes? Oil exploration has been carried out in Albania for decades too”, the ministry said.

According to the economy ministry, just looking at the Adriatic area, one can see examples of successful coexistence of tourism, sensitive ecosystems and the oil industry.

“Not to mention the numerous positive examples from the world – is enough to mention Norway and two facts about that country: it is a country that has successfully valorised its natural resources and a country that is among the three largest exporters of seafood. It is clear that Adriatic countries not only do not fight against the hydrocarbons production, but they intensively explore and produce them. This is the path that Montenegro has chosen too”, the ministry said.

It also said that the public recognised the fact that the opponents of all projects in the energy sector, ranging from small and large hydropower plants, through wind farms and thermo exploitation, to the oil and gas exploration, advocate importing rather than generating energy in Montenegro.

“It is clear that this approach is not in favour of the citizens and the country’s development”, the ministry concludes in its response.

Source: Cafe Del Montenegro