Several companies are currently planning to explore for gas and oil in the Algarve, either onshore and offshore (Gulf of Algarve and Gulf of Alentejo). Several contracts to explore, drill and produce petroleum were already granted.
All the companies are currently in the exploration phase, 2D seismic surveys offshore were already done and 3D seismic surveys in several areas, some companies are now preparing the firsts perforations.
The biggest movement in opposition to these projects started in 2015, with the formation of the Algarve Livre de Petróleo platform that demanded the publication of all contracts. After the publication of the contracts, several groups, associations and the regional government declared their opposition to any plans to drill for oil. In November a petition was delivered to the government.
The Algarve Livre de Petróleo platform unites over 10 organizations and aims to completely stop the investigation (and subsequent exploitation) of hydrocarbons, and it argue that oil exploration represents a threat to the environment, biodiversity and the economy. They in fact say "tourism is our oil".
Despite this, it seems the government aims to move ahead with the exploration.