RESIDENTS of Valencia and the Balearic Islands have become embroiled in a dispute with the Spanish government after it gave approval for an oil drilling project in the gulf of Valencia.

Cairn Energy is planning to drill for oil in the waters off the coast of Ibiza, a project that could have a devastating environmental impact.

The drillers will first have to map the seabed to search for potential hydro-carbons, after which exploratory drilling will begin. This will generate highly amplified sound waves which are dangerous to local marine life.

Every 10 seconds the cannons emit 249 db of noise, which is much more than the pain barrier (180 db) or even atomic bomb (200 db).

There are concerns the project will also damage the habitat if thousands of birds, it will change the migratory routes of cetaceans, and dolphins and turtles will suffer extreme pain and internal bruising.

Ibiza residents have also expressed worries that the drilling will have a negative impact on the island’s image, given that 90% of its income comes from tourism.

REAL FEARS: Over plans to drill for oil