Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the oil and gas exploration and production company with interests in the North Falkland Basin and Greater Mediterranean region, provides the following update on the status of the Ombrina Mare project offshore Italy.
Further to the Company’s announcement on 6 January 2016, the Company has been informed by the Ministry of Economic Development that, following the re-introduction of the ban on exploration and production activity within 12 nautical miles of the coast of Italy, the Production Concession covering the Ombrina Mare Field Area will now not be awarded. This is despite the Ombrina Mare project having completed all the required technical and environmental authorisations.
The Company retains its interest in the exploration permit covering the Ombrina Mare Field Area. An extension to the suspension of the Ombrina Mare exploration permit was recently granted to 31 December 2016.
The Company is now considering its options which include both a claim for damages and compensation against the Republic of Italy under International Treaties for the protection of foreign investments, and in particular the arbitration process provided for under the Energy Charter Treaty.
None of the Company’s other interests in Italy, including the Guendalina gas field, are expected to be impacted by the changes in legislation.
Rockhopper Exploration plc
Tel: (via Vigo Communications) – 020 7016 9573
Sam Moody – Chief Executive
Fiona MacAulay – Chief Operating Officer
Stewart MacDonald – Chief Financial Officer
Canaccord Genuity Limited (NOMAD and Joint Broker)
Tel: 020 7523 8000
Liberum Capital (Joint Broker)
Tel: 020 3100 2227
Tel: 020 7016 9573