Po Valley Energy Ltd (ASX: PVE) and its joint venture partner, energy group Edison SpA, have relinquished the Bernaga licence application north of Milan after a consultation with Italy’s Energy Ministry.
“Part of the Bernaga licence area covers a nature reserve close to urban areas and the approvals process generated local concerns about formal grant of an exploration licence,” Po Valley’s chief executive Michael Masterman said in a statement.
The company rated the prospects for full licence grant as low given the local environmental and community concerns, even though exploration would have had minimal environmental impact, including making use of former industrial areas.
Its decision to withdraw from the Bernaga application was not made lightly and, while disappointing, was judged the most practical course of action, Po Valley said.
Its other licences in Italy are not affected. Po Valley's priority in the coming months will be the start of gas production from the Sillaro and Castello fields, near Bologna and Milan, respectively.