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14 Jun 2019 | 08:06

Ascent Resources to step up legal action against Slovenian government

Oil and gas company Ascent Resources said it would shift away from developing Petišovci project in Slovenia as it plans to step up legal action against the Slovenian Ministry of Environment's decision to deny permission for work to be carried on well permits in the country. The official response from the Ministry of the Environment had now been received and a robust response to this 'manifestly wrong decision contrary to EU law will be submitted in advance of the deadline on 15 July 2019,' the company said. The joint venture partners had been hoping to resume work on the Pg-10 and Pg-11A wells, but the Environment Ministry denied permission for the work to be done. In breach of EU law, the decision also mistakenly concluded that the project fell within a conservation area and misapplied EU case law in relation to mitigation measures, the company added. The company said it would also submit a claim for damages against the Republic of Slovenia for breach of EU law including for the unreasonably long time it took for the decision to be reached. The company would be seeking damages for loss of future income from the project which would have been expected to have been a multiple of the historic investment of some €50m. 'The focus in Slovenia now inevitably shifts away from the development of the Petišovci Project towards obtaining legal redress for the damages inflicted on shareholders by the actions of the government. As a result, we will consider a wide range of measures to reduce our operating costs to the minimum necessary,' the company said.

At 8:06am: (LON:AST) Ascent Resources PLC share price was -0.03p at 0.23p

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