CYGAM Energy Inc. , an emerging oil and gas company with interests in Tunisia and Italy, has announced the following update regarding the current drilling moratorium offshore Italy.
The Italian government published Legislative Decree 83/2012 (the “Decree”) on June 26, 2012 in the Italian Official Gazette. The Decree has been ratified by both houses of the Italian Parliament on August 3, 2012 and passed into law without substantial modifications. The Decree becomes effective once published in the Italian Official Gazette which is expected during August 2012.
The Decree includes a modification to the offshore restrictions relating to oil and gas exploration and production operations which were introduced by Legislative Decree 128/2010 (“DL128″) in August 2010 which generally banned all such activities within twelve nautical miles of the coast (five nautical miles for liquid hydrocarbons). Under the Decree, the restrictions under DL128 will no longer apply to:
- applications for production concessions that were under review at the time DL128 came into force;
- any titles, including exploration licences, that had been issued prior to DL128 coming into force;
- any proceedings connected with or subsequent to such titles.
The Decree also includes a provision for a 3% increase (to 7% for oil and 10% for gas) in the royalty rates payable for offshore hydrocarbon producers with the proceeds to be allocated to the state budgets of the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economic Development to support the monitoring and enforcement of marine environmental protection and the supervision of environmental safety for offshore exploration and production activities.
Giuseppe Rigo, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of CYGAM comments: “We are delighted that the Decree has been passed into law as this allows certain E&P projects in Italian near shore waters to proceed. There are two such projects in CYGAM’s portfolio; the Elsa discovery in the Adriatic Sea and the Aretusa prospect in the Mediterranean Sea. We will now commence discussions with the relevant authorities to progress these projects to the benefit of all stakeholders and in the most environmentally responsible manner.”
Press Release, August 9, 2012