I have been hearing rumours for a week or so that this was in the offing with the Italian regional govts in particular pushing for the move. Now seeing reports that the Govt has indeed imposed a ban and one that is rather harsher than the rumours had indicated.
This could/will have significant impact on several companies with operations planned offshore Italy, not least Mediterranean Oil & Gas (LON:MOG), Northern Petroleum (LON:NOP) and even Petroceltic International (LON:PCI) where it has the Elsa well coming up.
Extract from the link above:
(ANSA) - Rome, June 30 - Italy is to stop energy companies drilling for oil within five miles of its coast as part of measures to prevent an oil spill like the one wreaking havoc in the Gulf of Mexico, the government said Wednesday.
Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo said the drilling ban will be further extended around protected marine areas to create a 12-mile buffer zone.
Drilling requests for other areas will be subject to extremely stringent environmental impact assessments, Prestigiacomo said, adding that the Cabinet-approved restrictions will also affect applications currently being processed.