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    Ascent Encouraged by Slovenian Resignation


AIM-listed Ascent Resources wants to expand, says it is "encouraged" by recent political developments in Slovenia.

by: Mark Smedley

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Ascent Encouraged by Slovenian Resignation

AIM-listed Ascent Resources, which has minor gas production in Slovenia that it wants to expand, says it is "encouraged" by recent political developments there.

It said November 13 that among the first impacts of a review by environment minister Jure Leben had been the resignation of the Slovenian environment agency ARSO's general director Josko Knez the previous day. Knez had headed the agency for at least five years and had worked there since its launch in 2001.

Ascent recently expressed frustration and disappointment at how the permitting of a small gas process plant that Ascent wanted to build had been "ongoing since 2014," despite a refiled application by Ascent.

"We welcome action by the new environment minister to ensure that the permitting system works to protect the environment while delivering a process that responsible companies can rely on to make investments beneficial to the economic growth and energy security of Slovenia," said Ascent, noting it had asked for a meeting with Leben to expedite future development of its Petisovci gas field.

Last month Ascent had said it planned to take Slovenia, Leben and ARSO to an EU court over their refusal to allow it to build a gas process plant. The lack of this plant currently obliges Ascent to sell its gas unprocessed into neighbouring Croatia and limits the company's potential to expand output. 

Update 5pm GMT: Ascent's share price increased by 26% during the course of November 13, with share trading suspended briefly twice late late afternoon.