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    Spain bans new oil, gas permits


Spain is only a minor oil and gas producer, relying heavily on imports.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Spain bans new oil, gas permits

Spain has joined other European countries in introducing a ban on the issue of new concessions for oil and gas exploration, effective immediately, as part of broader plans to decarbonise its economy.

Spain's congress approved a climate change and energy transition bill on May 13 that outlines the steps the country plans to take to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The bill, approved by Spain's lower house in early April, also states that existing concessions cannot be extended beyond the end of 2042, after which point oil and gas production will be prohibited. In addition, the sale of oil and gas-fuelled vehicles will be outlawed in 2040.

Spain is a very minor oil and gas producer, relying heavily on imports. The producing fields it does have are mostly in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Tarragona. Repsol operates the Montanazo and Lubina fields in the area, which flow oil via the Casablanca platform in operation since the early 1980s.

France, Ireland and Denmark have similarly banned the issue of new oil and gas licences. Denmark took the step in December last year, cancelling an offshore licensing round that had attracted bids and declaring it would phase out production completely by 2050. Like Spain, none of the three countries relies much on domestic production.