Ascent Resources to appeal Slovenian authorities' decision on environmental impact assessment

By bne IntelliNews March 13, 2019

UK-based Ascent Resources, an oil and gas exploration and production company focused on Slovenia and Central Europe, said it will appeal the decision of the Slovenian authorities which have ordered that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) should be carried out on a key project in the country.

The key ground for appeal is the fact that all six expert government agencies which the Slovenian Environment Agency (ARSO) is required to consult as part of the screening assessment process concluded that no EIA should be required on the basis that the project to re-stimulate the currently producing Pg-10 and Pg-11A wells is not likely to have significant effects on the environment.

Back in January, Ascent Resources said it had appointed legal advisers and will be ready to defend its legitimate interests in Slovenia if necessary. The company's focus for many years has been to develop its high-potential Petisovci project in northeast Slovenia. However, it has been unable to develop the project as planned due to permitting issues. 

“The company continues to work with legal experts in Slovenia and London to prepare claims for damages as a result of the numerous and continued failures and delays by ARSO and the Ministry to comply with Slovenian and EU law. This decision is in direct contradiction of expert opinions procured by ARSO and provides further evidence in support of any potential claim for damages,” Ascent Resources said.

Any potential claim for damages will take into account the amount invested by the company in the project, currently in excess of €50mn, and future expected profits from the development of the field which is estimated to be a multiple of the existing investment.

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