Oil exploration company bank £17m from legal claim

Oil exploration company Rockhopper has received the first payment as part of a legal agreement.

The company, which is based in Salisbury,  has received the first tranche payment in relation to the monetization of its Ombrina Mare arbitration award.

The company received £17m of the £42m tranche one payment, after entering a litigation funding agreement in 2017.

The agreement entitles the original arbitration funder to a proportion of any proceeds from the award.

The balance of EUR26 million has gone to the funder in order to discharge Rockhopper of its liabilities.

Tranches two and three remain payable to Rockhopper upon a successful annulment outcome. Fees of around £3.5m are owed to Rockhopper’s legal representatives if Rockhopper win the claim.

“We are delighted to have received the tranche one payment under the Ombrina Mare monetization agreement,” said chief executive Sam Moody.

“This cash gives us the strongest balance sheet we have had for a number of years, and we remain confident in the merits of our legal case as we await the decision of the Ad Hoc Panel on the annulment request from the Italian Republic.”

Shares in Rockhopper Exploration were trading one per cent higher at 15.10 pence each in following the announcement.