The Ministry of Economy revoked INA – Industrija nafte's d.d. „Sava“ and „North-Western Croatia“ exploration licenses due to the fact that exploration activities were not perfomed as specified in the exploration licenses.
The Ministry of Economy in July 2011, issued a set of decisions by which the hydrocarbon exploration licenses belonging to INA – Industrija nafte d.d in the „North-Western Croatia“ and „Sava“ areas were revoked. The licenses were revoked due to the fact that INA – Industrija nafte d.d. failed to perform exploration activities according to the issued licenses.
INA – Industrija nafte d.d. appealed the above mentioned decisions to the High Administrative Court of the Republic of Croatia. In this procedure, the High Administrative Court canceled the Ministry's decisions due to strictly formal reasons, which refer to an incomplete and/or unclear factual situation outlined in the decisions (Article 39. point 2 of the Law on Administrative Disputes – Official Gazette no. 53/91, 9/92 and 77/92). In accordance with this, the decisions were returned to the Ministry of Economy with the dictate to issue new decisions. Carrying out the courts dictate, and in line with applicable Laws, the Ministry of Economy on 18. November 2014. issued a set of new decisions by which INA – Industrija nafte's d.d. hydrocarbon exploration licenses have been revoked in the „North-Western Croatia“ and „Sava“ areas.
We find it important to note that it is wrong to interpret the above mentioned rulings of the High Administrative Court to have been overruled due to unfounded grounds, given that the Court returned the decisions to the Ministry of Economy with the decree to issue new decisions based on Article 39. point 2 of the Law on Administrative Disputes. As instructed, the Ministry of the Economy issued new decisions and again revoked INA – Industrija nafte’s d.d. exploration licenses.
Accordingly, the dispute between the Ministry of Economy and the company INA – Industrija nafte d.d. has no bearing on nor can it influence in anyway the currently opened 1st onshore licensing round or any other anticipated licensing rounds for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Republic of Croatia.