Rockhopper Exploration offloads assets in onshore Italy to UK’s Northern Petroleum


UK-based oil and gas company Rockhopper Exploration has sold its non-core onshore interests in Italy to Northern Petroleum as part of a strategy to streamline its operations.

In exchange for assuming all future abandonment and decommissioning liabilities, Northern Petroleum will earn interests in six licences through the acquisition of the subsidiary company Rockhopper Civita.

The petroleum licences to be acquired include 100% interest in Scanzano, 60% in Monte Verdese, 50% in Torrente Celone, 100% in Aglavizza, 100% in Civita Permit and 85% in San Basile.

Rockhopper CEO Sam Moody said: "This transaction represents the conclusion of our initiative to streamline our Italian interests, focus on material assets and right-size our cost base.

"Through the Civita gas field, which Rockhopper developed as operator and brought on stream in 2015, we have added material value which allows us to offset our exposure to future decommissioning liabilities.”

"This transaction represents the conclusion of our initiative to streamline our Italian interests, focus on material assets and right-size our cost base."

By the end of last year, the Civita gas field produced around 130 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

According to Rockhopper, the net liabilities of the petroleum licences as of 31 December last year, including the future abandonment and decommissioning provisions, stood at €5.8m.

Completion of the transaction is scheduled for the end of this year and is subject to standard regulatory approvals.

After the closure of the assets sale, Rockhopper's interests in Italy will be focused on the producing Guendalina gas field and the Serra San Bernado exploration permit.

In addition, Rockhopper stated that it is focused on growing its Greater Mediterranean business.