In February 2016, Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development decided not to award Rockhopper a production concession covering the Ombrina Mare field.
Rockhopper is now considering its options with regard to obtaining damages and compensation from the government for what it claims is a breach of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).
The latter entered into legal force in April 1998 and is designed to provide a stable platform for energy sector investments. Italy, as a member of the European Union, was a founding signatory to the ECT.
Based on legal and expert opinions, Rockhopper believes it has strong prospects of recovering significant damages as a result of the breaches: these would be sought on the basis of lost profits.
In addition, the company has secured non-recourse funding for the arbitration from a funder that specializes in financing commercial litigation and arbitration claims.