Ascent Resources | 5 May 2022
Ascent Resources plc
("Ascent" or the "Company")
Serving of Notice of Dispute
Ascent Resources Plc (LON : AST), the onshore Caribbean, Hispanic American and European focussed energy and natural resources company, announces that Ascent Resources Plc and its subsidiary Ascent Slovenia Ltd (together "the Investors"), have today formally notified the Government of the Republic of Slovenia (the "Government of Slovenia") of further breaches under the UK - Slovenia bilateral investment treaty (the "BIT") and the Energy Charter Treaty (the "ECT").
In particular, the Government of Slovenia has been notified of the fact that their latest actions, which include amendments to the mining law which specifically prohibit holders of mining rights from carrying out the exploration or exploitation of hydrocarbons with the use of any hydraulic stimulation, have caused further considerable harm to the Investors’ investments in Slovenia. The Company believes it is the specific target of these actions, having been referred to as the "British Corporation" in the parliamentary discussions which took place around the subject, and such actions deprive the Investors of realising the full value of their investment in the country, given that the Company and its JV partner, Geoenergo, have always expected to conduct the historic practice of mechanically stimulating the tight gas reservoir to produce hydrocarbons. These actions by the Government of Slovenia constitute further breaches of the protections established by the BIT and the ECT, 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.
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The Company remains committed to defending its investment of over € 50 million in Slovenia and following the expected imminent completion of the damages-based agreement with Enyo Law LLP, the Company will vigorously pursue its damages claim through in international arbitration. The Investors continue to sincerely hope that an amicable solution can be found to the present dispute and following the failure of earlier negotiations with the Government of Slovenia in Q4 2020 and Q1 2021, the Investors welcome any constructive proposals that compensate the Investors for their losses. The Investors remain ready to re-engage at a senior level with the Government of Slovenia at the earliest possible opportunity for meaningful and prompt discussions. The Investors’ fully reserve all of their rights and remedies arising out of what they strongly believe to be Slovenia’s treaty breaches.
A copy of the Notice is available at the Company’s website https://www.ascentresources.co.uk/investors/presentations-documents/