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24 Aug 2022

Joe Lo, Climate Change News

British company forces Italy to pay €190m for offshore oil ban

'British company forces Italy to pay €190m for offshore oil ban', 24 August 2022

"A British oil company has won over €190 million ($190m) in compensation from the Italian government for blocking a planned project off Italy’s Adriatic coast.

After tens of thousands of Italians protested against the Ombrina Mare oil drilling project in 2015, the Italian government banned oil drilling within 12 miles of Italy’s shoreline. This prevented the project going ahead.

Represented by no-win-no-fee lawyers, the developer Rockhopper sued the Italian government under the controversial Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).

Despite investing just $40-50m in the project, the company claimed for foregone profits estimated at $200-300m. An ECT tribunal awarded €190m ($190m) plus interest.

The company’s share price doubled on the news. CEO Samuel Moody said he was “delighted” and the award would help Rockhopper drill for oil in the Falkland Islands...

... Paul De Clerck from Friends of the Earth Europe said: “It is scandalous that Italian citizens are now expected to pay Rockhopper €250 million for not destroying the Italian environment and the climate. It is all the more perverse that they get 8 times more than what they invested.”..."