Skip to main content
Rockhopper v. Italy
Data source:
Sabin Center
Reference number:
ICSID Case No. ARB/17/14
In 2015 the Italian Parliament re-introduced a ban on oil and gas exploration within 12 miles of the Italian coastline. The ban had previously been introduced in 2010 but revoked in 2012. In 2017, UK company Rockhopper Exploration Plc, along with its Italian subsidiary, filed a claim for compensation alleging violations of the investor protection provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty. The claim concerned its interests in the Ombrina Mare oil rig, for which it was hoping to obtain a production concession from the Italian Government prior to the introduction of the ban. The company is claiming compensation both for funds spent and for anticipated profits, which may run to USD $200-300 million.

Key environmental legal questions:

Claims arising out of the decision not to award the claimants a production concession following the Government’s re-introduction of a general ban on oil and gas exploration and production activity within the 12 mile limit of the coastline.
Suits against governments; Trade and Investment; Environmental permitting