SeeNews | 4 July 2022
Ascent starts mediation process in Slovenian partner dispute
LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), July 4 (SeeNews) - UK-listed Ascent Resources and its Slovenian joint venture partner Geoenergo have initiated the mediation process under a dispute resolution mechanism regarding alleged contractual breaches caused by the restrictions on hydraulic stimulation of gas extraction in the country, Ascent said on Monday.
"A Court of Appeal, High Court Ljubljana Judge has now been appointed as the mediator between the joint venture partners. Mediation is expected to be initiated shortly," Ascent said in a filing with the London Stock Exchange.
In May, Ascent formally notified the Slovenian government of contractual breaches caused by the restrictions on hydraulic stimulation of gas extraction in the country.
"The prohibition constitutes further breaches of the protections established by the UK-Slovenia bilateral investment treaty and the Energy Charter Treaty, including, inter alia the prohibition of expropriation, the guarantee that the investments would be accorded fair and equitable treatment and Slovenia’s guarantee that the management, maintenance, use, enjoyment or disposal of the investments would not be impaired by arbitrary, unreasonable or discriminatory measures," Ascent Resources said back then.
Ascent Resources holds 75% interest in the Petisovci project, which lies in the northeastern corner of Slovenia between Hungary and Croatia, and Geoenergo holds the remaining 25%. The current concession was awarded to Geoenergo in 2002 and is due for renewal in 2022.
Geoenergo is a company jointly owned by Nafta Lendava, a Slovenian state-owned oil company, and Petrol, the leading energy conglomerate in Slovenia.