Rockhopper Eyes 'Significant monetary damages' in Adriatic Sea Case


December 24, 2020


Rockhopper Exploration on Thursday said that a ruling on its arbitration against Italy over Ombrina Mare offshore field in the Adriatic Sea could be expected in early 2021, adding it expects to receive 'significant monetary damages.'

The company started arbitration in 2017 after Italy in 2016 imposed restrictions on offshore oil and gas operations in its waters within 12 miles of the coast of Italy, and after the country's Ministry of Economic Development of Italy informed Rockhopper Exploration that the production concession covering its Ombrina Mare field area will now not be awarded, despite the Ombrina Mare project having completed all the required technical and environmental authorizations

Ombrina Mare is an appraisal/development project located off the Abruzzo, a region in Italy, in the shallow waters of the Central Adriatic.

Rockhopper said Thursday that under the rules of the arbitration process, a decision is due within 120 days, and extendable, at the discretion of the Tribunal, by a further 60 days if required, of the closure of the proceedings.

According to Rockhopper, the Tribunal provided an update in which it said that deliberations have continued and work on the award is advancing. 

"The Tribunal will revert to the Parties in the early part of 2021 with any final questions it might have or, if none, the declaration of the closure of the proceedings as per ICSID Arbitration Rule 38(1)," Rockhopper cited the tribunal as saying.

The company further said: "Rockhopper continues to believe it has strong prospects of recovering very significant monetary damages - on the basis of lost profits - as a result of the Republic of Italy's breaches of the Energy Charter Treaty. All costs associated with the arbitration are funded on a non-recourse ("no win - no fee") basis from a specialist arbitration funder."

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