Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the oil and gas company with key interests in the North Falkland Basin, provides the following update on its International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”) arbitration with the Republic of Italy.

As announced on 24 August 2022, the arbitration panel unanimously held that Italy had breached its obligations under the Energy Charter Treaty (the “Award”) entitling Rockhopper to compensation of €190 million plus interest at EURIBOR + 4%, compounded annually from 29 January 2016 until time of payment (except the four-month period immediately following the date of the Award).

On 28 October 2022, Italy submitted an application to the ICSID seeking to annul the Award under Article 52 of the ICSID Convention. Italy has also requested a provisional stay of the enforcement of the Award pursuant to Article 52(5) of the ICSID Convention. Rockhopper is consulting with its legal representatives as to what submissions will be required to contest this application.

The third-party funding agreement does not cover any costs arising past the date of the Award (23 August 2022). Having anticipated Italy might attempt to annul the Award, Rockhopper has a non-binding offer in place to fund both fighting the annulment and enforcing the Award if required. The Company will now consider this along with other funding possibilities. A separate success fee of approximately £3 million is due to the Company’s legal representatives on establishing liability and an award requiring Italy to pay over €25 million in damages. This amount is not covered by either funding agreement. Given Italy’s request for annulment, the Company is in productive discussions with its legal representatives as regards to this payment.

Samuel Moody, CEO of Rockhopper Exploration, commented:

“It is disappointing although perhaps not surprising that the Italian government has chosen to pursue an annulment of the Award. Based on legal advice we believe annulment proceedings are likely to take approximately 18 to 24 months, albeit interest will commence accruing again in December 2022. We remain confident in the strength of our case, as was reflected in the unanimous decision underpinning the Award in August, and very much hope and believe the annulment request will be rejected in due course.”

Rockhopper Exploration plc
Sam Moody – Chief Executive Officer
Tel. +44 (0) 20 7390 0234 (via Vigo Consulting)

Canaccord Genuity Limited (NOMAD and Joint Broker)
Henry Fitzgerald-O’Connor / James Asensio / Gordon Hamilton
Tel. +44 (0) 20 7523 8000

Peel Hunt LLP (Joint Broker)
Richard Crichton
Tel. +44 (0) 20 7418 8900

Vigo Consulting
Patrick d’Ancona / Ben Simons / Kendall Hill
Tel. +44 (0) 20 7390 0234