Oslo, 4 April 2016: Interoil Exploration and Production ASA's Colombian subsidiary ("Interoil") provides an update on its COR-6 licence
As noted in previous announcements, Interoil has been unable to execute its exploration program on the COR-6 licence due to the environmental and difficult social situation in the area. However, in September 2014 the Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos ("ANH") issued a resolution (No. 993) claiming that Interoil was in breach of the licence contract. As a result, Interoil filed a reconsideration petition against this resolution. Furthermore, Interoil entered into discussions with the ANH and given the local difficulties preventing Interoil from commencing work on the licence area, sought approval to transfer the COR-6 obligations to another licence in accordance with recent ANH regulations.
The ANH has now issued a new resolution (No. 183) pursuant to which it reiterates the decision taken under the 2014 resolution and claiming it is entitled to recover from Interoil, in the form of damages, the amount committed by Interoil under the contract.
Interoil continues to believe it has a strong argument to defend the reasons why it has been unable to fulfil its obligations on COR-6 and in view of such limitations beyond its control, Interoil has offered to transfer its commitments to another licence.
Interoil will continue its dialogue with the ANH in order to find a solution that is satisfactory to both parties and will as necessary or appropriate also consider other legal avenues available to it, including, the possibility of reaching a pre-judicial agreement with the ANH, pursing an action through the Arbitration Tribunal and/or challenging the decision though the courts, amongst others. However, depending on the option or options pursued these processes could take a significant amount of time.
Further information and updates will be given when available and as appropriate.
Alejandro Jotayan, Chief Executive Officer, commented: "Interoil has been operating in Colombia for over 30 years and has a good operating record in the country. We believe we will be able to resolve this situation satisfactorily based on our analysis of the situation."
Interoil Exploration and Production ASA is a Norwegian based exploration and production company - listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange - with focus on Latin-America. The Company is the operator of several production and exploration assets in Colombia. Interoil currently employs approximately 71 people and is headquartered in Oslo.