Gas prospecting off Mijas

Repsol Gas Spain
Oil giant Repsol

The Costa del Sol could soon be prospecting for gas of the coast of Mijas, unless Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy decides otherwise.

The Environment Department in Madrid has already given the go ahead for drilling to begin while local officials claim it would be disastrous for tourism. Mayors from Mijas, Marbella and Fuengirola have publicly opposed the plan and global pressure group Greenpeace has called for an immediate halt to the project claiming it would cause “chronic contamination” and would have devastating consequences for marine life in the area.

Drilling was due to begin in February but became uncertain following the change of government. Rajoy will now have to decide if his government should allow oil giant Repsol to proceed with the “crazy” scheme.

Along with the danger to marine life the drilling could also pose a risk of spills, fires and pollution in the sea.

The well known sea grass bed off the coast of Calahonda is an EU site of community interest and there are fears that this could also be endangered. Greenpeace claim this area is home to over 1,000 species of marine life and around 400 plant species.

Additionally the scheme could have a “serious impact” on both tourism and fishing, two sectors that are fundamental to the Spanish economy.