The Italian Parliament recently passed a bill to temporarily suspend oil and gas operations while it assesses the suitability of areas for sustainable exploration and production. 

So how will the move likely impact ASX-listed companies with projects in the region?

ADX Energy (ASX:ADX) is one company that could be impact. It has a permit in offshore Sicily that hosts the Nilde oil field.

It says it will be able to better assess the impact on the project once the “precise wording” of the new law is available.

Another ASX-listed explorer with operations in Italy is Po Valley Energy (ASX:PVE).

But Po Valley chief Michael Masterman said Italy’s decision to suspend exploration permits will have no impact on its two main assets – the Selva and Teodorica gas fields.

“Both of those are advanced through the Italian approvals process and the recent amendments to the Italian law do not apply them,” he told Stockhead.

Po Valley also has exploration licences in Italy, but says the review could actually be a good thing for explorers.

“The legislation doesn’t ban exploration, what it does is it provides for an 18-month period of time for the areas to be assessed from an environmental point of view, and we view that as positive with respect to our residual exploration licences,” Mr Masterman said.

“All licences including our exploration licences in the previous structure had to go through an environmental review.

“In the new legislation it’s just a different environmental review process, which potentially has the ability to lead to approvals on a similar timeframe if not faster.”

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