Italian law enables Petroceltic to prepare for oil drilling
A change in Italian law has paved the way for publicly quoted Irish company Petroceltic International to make preparations to drill an appraisal well in the Elsa oil field in the Adriatic Sea.
Italian law banned offshore exploration and production activities within five miles of the country’s coastline after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Legislative changes passed by parliament have now extended the drilling ban to 12 miles offshore.
Petroceltic chief executive Brian O’Cathain said the new law removed the “uncertainty concerning exploration, development and production activities in Italian waters”.
“We will now commence discussions with the relevant national and regional institutions concerning the Elsa project, which we are committed to progressing to the benefit of all stakeholders in a safe and environmentally responsible manner,” he said.
Petroceltic has had a strong presence in Italy since 2005. It has four exploration permits in the central Adriatic area, including the Elsa discovery.