The fearless battle of an entire region to protect our land, our beaches, our health, our traditions, our communities, our future. One by one, we have empowered the common man using the irresistible weapons of knowledge. To the oil companies that intend to destroy us, ENI, Petroceltic, MOG, Edison, Shell: let it be crystal clear.

You are not welcome here.

We will fight to the bitter end.

We shall defeat you.

Monday, April 25, 2016

We won!

Dear Rockhopper Exploration investors...


Ombrina is dead. And thanks to our protests, not only is Ombrina dead, so are 26 other oil and gas leases. To kill Ombrina, the Italian government had to re-instate a 12 mile buffer zone around the entire Italian coastline that effectively halted all those other projects. To summarize:

2007-2010 -- The Oil Center proposed by ENI in the town of Ortona, Abruzzo a desulfurizing unit with at least 3 oil wells, is dead;

2009-2015 -- The desulfurizing unit proposed by Forest Oil Corporation in the town of Bomba, Abruzzo with at least 5 gas wells, is dead;  The Forest Oil Corporation is also dead. It was bought by Sabine oil who also declared bankruptcy.

2008-2016 -- Ombrina Mare with 4-6 oil wells and a desulfurizing FPSO unit, as proposed by Mediterannean Oil and Gas and later by Rockhopper Corporation is dead; Mediterranean Oil and Gas is also dead.

Abruzzo has now a law banning onshore oil drilling.

Italy has now a law banning offshore drilling within 12 miles from shore.

About time you guys started investing in solar, don't you think?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

From the American leader of the NoOilAbruzzo campaign to Rockhopper investors

Dear Romaron, Grewber, Desireoil3009, livic1971, oneday2soon, rpoodle, Robpug_uk, markednnmbr1, and all friends

My name is Maria D'Orsogna, and some of you already know me, as in your posts you describe me with these words: "the leader of the NoOilAbruzzo campaign is an American living in California." 

Indeed, I am a physicist and a professor of Mathematics and Biomathematics in Los Angeles. I lived in Abruzzo for ten years when I was young. Here is my story.

I see there is much interest on your part in making a quick buck out of Ombrina Mare. My answer to you: Not gonna happen.

We have been fighting this for years now, at least since 2008 and, the "delays" that Mediterranean Oil and Gas experienced, and that ultimately caused its demise, were largely due to our protests. Not sure Rockhopper Exploration will have a better fate in regards to Ombrina.

We are not a bunch of lunatics. We are simply citizens that do not want oil rigs and a desulfurizing unit to be built 4 miles from shore. And I am sure that if they came up with a proposal like that for wherever you guys go to the beach, you would not like it either. 

Ombrina Mare and its FPSO will spit 200 tons of garbage in the atmosphere every single day, according to your own Environmental Statements.

Of course we don't like it, and you would not either.

There are a lot of us. Everyone in Abruzzo is opposed to this. From the Catholic church to rasta-haired youth groups, from the local tourist industry to coastal mayors, regardless of their political affiliation.

Sergio Morandi could come this far, just because of the corruption and disorganization that plagues Italy, but, as you can see, we were able to derail this project for at least eight years now. Ombrina was supposed to be operational in Q4 2008.

We are still here.

I am still here. 

We have read, we have dissected every document that Sergio Morandi produced, and called him out to his own myths and propaganda on local TV stations and media.

I personally even wrote several articles about the evils of Ombrina Mare on the national press. You can read some of it here.

All those "facts" and "true or false" websites that Rockhopper is putting up are direct answers to the scientific, indisputable facts that I, an independent scientist, came up with.

People believed me and not the oil companies because I am not out there to make money off this and because the evidence is crystal clear. Sergio Morandi, and you people, on the other hand have vested interests, i.e. money. SO the best you can do is to present untenable arguments in favor of drilling.

Deep down you all know it is crazy, absolutely crazy to drill oil rigs and anchor an FPSO so close to a naturalistic sea line, but I guess guys for you money is stronger than ethics and commonsense.

Sergio Morandi did not take any of my activism nicely and thinks he can scare me away. Not going to happen either.

So, why do you insist on coming to our communities and destroying it? Is the prospect of money so alluring that you have let go of every tenet of human decency and want to force your presence in a place where you are unwanted?

Go drill your own beaches! Leave us alone.

What are you going to tell your kids, your families? That you made money by bullying a peaceful community? That you don't give a damn about climate change and that while the entire planet is talking about keeping fossil fuels in the ground, you have the gall to come to a foreign country and forcefully drill?

Aren't you people ashamed of yourselves?
What planet are you going to leave to future generations?

I have sacrificed eight years of my life fighting Ombrina, and ENI before them, but there is some pride in having taken on oil giants and in having tried to do the right thing, despite how hard it was to balance it all.

And I did it for love. We sent ENI packing. We sent Forest Oil Corporation packing.

To me, you are the face of what greed does to people.

It is interesting that none of you even have the courage to come out with your real name.  Maybe you are a bit embarrassed after all. 

I am not sure how long this will last, and I don't know who will prevail at the end. Maybe indeed, your lack of respect will allow you to able to drill. I don't know.

But this I will tell you: we won't give up until the very end, and if it does turn out that Mediterranean Oil and Gas, or Rockhopper Exploration or whatever your name is, will eventually be able to drill our beautiful Abruzzo, it is just because, in my opinion, you were bullies to us, shameless bullies of the worst kind.


To your lawyers that so hate me: this post was written in Los Angeles, California. Freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Mr Morandi, still waiting for you to abide by court rulings. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

The guru was wrong!

Dear Mr. Tom Bulford and friends, despite your arrogance in thinking you could outsmart us all, I guess this was not a wise investment on your part!

Ombrina will never go through.


We simply will not allow it. Perhaps the UK press does not report this, but Italians are adamantly against offshore drilling.

And yes, you think that Passera is pro-drilling, but you see, he was not elected and will not be able to lift the ban without huge political consequences.

I myself went to testify to the Italian Senate about the dangers of offshore drilling - they were considering lifting it, but they did not succeed.

It is too much of a political hot button, and they can't touch it: at this time, despite the British know it alls, who really know nothing about Italy, lifting the ban would be equivalent to political suicide in Italy.

So dump all of your stock and let MOG and Ombrina Mare rest in peace.

Let Sergio Morandi, Mr Wise Guy Tom Bulford and whoever was foolish enough
to put their money into MOG, cry their tears.

This is what you get for thinking that money trumps over people.

And, by the way, neither Northern Petroleum nor Petroceltic will get their way, I promise you.

So just take what's left of your money AND DISAPPEAR!!!!!


The guru, Tom Bulford one year ago:

The ban on offshore oil development looks like an instant, panicky reaction to a popular news story rather than a considered reaction that took account of Italy’s energy needs and industrial policy – already the USA has started to repeal its ban on offshore drilling.

But aside from following the lead of the USA there is another very good reason why Italy might be keen to revise its rules, allowing Ombrina Mare to go ahead. This is that Italy has traditionally depended quite heavily upon supply of oil from Libya. ENI is the biggest foreign oil producer in Libya, and has relied upon its operations here for 15% of its output.

Recently, ENI reported an 8.6% drop in production in the first quarter and said that its production for 2011 as a whole will be down because of the situation in Libya.

Faced with this strategic dilemma the Italian government may well backtrack on its offshore drilling ban. In any case, it somehow seems unlikely to me that 40m barrels of oil, lying a few miles offshore, will simply go to waste.

Red Hot Verdict: Mediterranean Oil & Gas is at a low point in its history, but its troubles are more to do with finance than with its assets and operations. The financial restructuring has swept away the dark clouds of possible bankruptcy, while a lifting of the ban on Ombrina Mare would transform the picture. With a target of 30p and a potential return of 176%, BUY UP TO 12p.

The guru, Tom Bulford today, April 2012:

Red Hot Penny Shares made a 48% loss…

We bought into Mediterranean Oil & Gas on the basis that the Italian Government might lift its off-shore drilling ban, which would allow Mediterranean Oil & Gas to develop its Ombrina Mare permit. The new Italian Government has had time to look at this issue, but there is no indication that it will lift the ban. It may yet happen, but MOG has been in the portfolio for almost a year and we cannot wait forever. SELL

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Victory at Bomba

Mr Craig Clark, CEO of the Forest Oil Corporation
Mr Giorgio Mazzenga, of the Forest Oil Corporation, Italy

Citizens of a small town in Abruzzo, Italy win big in environmental governing body's decision against proposed gas extraction that would pollute pristine region's land, water, and air.
(1888PressRelease) April 13, 2012 - The people of Abruzzo, Italy have once again scored a giant victory in their David versus Goliath fight against Denver-based oil giant Forest Oil Corporation, in their quest to protect one of Europe's most biodiverse regions.

On April 10th, 2012, the Commission for Environmental Impact Evaluation in Abruzzo, headed by Mr. Antonio Sorgi, unanimously rejected gas drilling and refining plans as proposed by the Forest Oil Corporation, headed by CEO Craig Clark, after a prolonged awareness campaign involving residents and activists.

According to public documents, the American oil giant had begun considering drilling a first cluster of five gas wells, a refinery, and multiple waste pits back in 2008. The company had anticipated extracting a total of at least 50 billion cubic feet of natural gas containing high levels of hydrogen sulfide to be refined 200 meters from the nearest residence in Bomba, Abruzzo, population 900.

Bomba sits along the banks of a popular recreational lake by the Parco Nazionale della Majella, a scenic national park that draws local and international visitors due its pristine environment and breathtaking views. Its economy is largely driven by agriculture and tourism.

Residents reacted strongly to drilling plans and uncovered Forest Oil Corporation's reports, according to which drilling could pose severe hydro-geological risks to a highly unstable, seismic area prone to subsidence and landslides. The project also called for the emission of pollutants from the refinery exceeding Italian legal limits, which would permeate the town center.
Official statements in opposition to drilling by the Forest Oil Corporation were filed by nineteen municipalities in the area, the Province of Chieti, the Catholic Church, the World Wildlife Federation, the Union of Merchants and Tourist Operators, and dozens of local organizations as well as the heirs of American author John Fante.

In a last-ditch effort to gather public support, executives from the Forest Oil Corporation visited Bomba in August 2011. They were confronted with incensed residents, who asked cogent questions that the Forest Oil executives were incapable of addressing. Later, the company stated that it was the first time in their 95-year history that they had received such informed and firm opposition from a local population.

The campaign to save Bomba is part of an ongoing effort to save Abruzzo, Europe's green heart, from turning into a giant oil field. The campaign has been largely coordinated by Professor Maria Rita D'Orsogna, a California resident with origins in Abruzzo. In the past five years, this international activism has led to the rejection of another oil field and refinery in Ortona, sponsored by Italian oil giant ENI, and of the Ombrina Mare oil rig proposed by Mediterranean Oil and Gas of London.

In a brazen act of defiance against Italian officials and the unanimous will of local population, the Forest Oil Corporation of Denver plans to appeal.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Forest Oil Corporation: a ticking oil bomb over Bomba

This excellent piece is taken from Sam Dunham, who so wonderfully writes the award-winning blog "Life in Abruzzo".

It has been sent out as a press release at this website and on Google News

Ticking Oil Bomb over Bomba

Lago Bomba

Italy & Denver: Forest Oil Threat of Interfering with Nature in Abruzzo’s Chieti

Bomba, in the province of Chieti Abruzzo, is still threatened by the ticking time-bomb of oil exploration by Forest Oil Corporation, its ever-present threat wielded by the silent and still undecided Italian National and Abruzzo Regional governments; if the go-ahead is given to create refinery and oil wells as proposed in the seismically challenged lake that sits just a 2-minute drive from people’s homes the affect could be devastating.

This summer Bomba has seen its most successful season yet with large numbers of tourists visiting and staying at the town to enjoy its varied water-sports, mountain-biking, hiking and famous Abruzzesi food & hospitality, rewarding the monies and hard work which had been invested in growing a sustainable economy developed by local residents over the last 25 years.

Bomba Abruzzo

The propitiatory offer of a €380,000 cheque to be presented to the local commune each year for the next 14 years was made by the Colorado-based Forest Oil Corporation, but local businesses and families rejected this offer. They understood all too well that the exchange of such “dirty money” for the use of their land and a contribution towards the reduction in their income from the fall in tourism from placement of oil wells, drilling and a refinery on Bomba’s doorstep was not an acceptable compromise or compensation.

They are hoping that the Regional Abruzzo and National Italian governments follow their wishes with a statement rejecting Forest Oil’s plans and these ‘available funds’ rather than perceive them as an easy autumn harvest bonanza which admittedly both mishandled economies sorely need.

There is a palpable sense of trepidation and dread in the town following the 3-month silence by politicians which has followed their stiff resistance to Forest Oil’s plan at a fierce meeting that was held in the town on June 5th 2011, as the result of a 2 year advocacy campaign by Bomba’s full-time 930 residents to stop Forest Oil’s plans in Abruzzo Italy.

The local community gathered together to express their anger directly to key Forest Oil management. That this US Oil Company has a history of drilling in the middle of a desert far away from residential properties and no previous experience or proposed emergency plans for drilling in a highly seismically challenged freshwater dam situated next to residential homes should even contemplate their proposed plans for Bomba is additional fuel to the fire.

The Italian Energy giant ENI had proposed a similar project in Bomba but declared such a project ‘unsafe’ due to the high level of seismic activity in the area which in 2009 saw a 6.3 Magnitude earthquake destroy the nearby capital city of the region, L’Aquila, along with its nearby villages with the result of 308 deaths. An indication how volatile the land is locally can be seen in the construction of the earthern dam with no cement/mortar used.

Lago Bomba

Already Forest Oil has admitted that setting up a refinery alone will exceed legal limits in pollutants but they believe that their proposed payment system would help sustain the health of future generations that are affected by such fall out, something that no local resident of Bomba believes can be verified or is worth the risk.

Bomba’s 930 residents now wait to hear if the attraction of a 14-year payment plan together with just a 10% drill tax revenue is a simple enough calculation for the Abruzzo and Italian government to undertake in rejecting short-term riches, respecting its peoples wishes and put an end to yet another US Oil Giant attempting to drill in Italy.

View the video below to hear the Forest Oil Corporation meeting with the town of Bomba & listen to Head of the NoOilAbruzzo Campaign Maria-Rita D’Orsogna explain in English why Italy is so attractive to international oil companies.

This article was written by on behalf of the NoOilAbruzzo campaign as a press release.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

To the Forest Oil Corporation: maybe you can mess with Texas but you can't with Abruzzo

On June 5th 2011, a tiny Italian town, Bomba, Abruzzo, population 900 gave a lesson in environmental studies, civic participation and democracy to American Big Oil and its tentacles.

This time the public enemy was the Forest Oil Corporation of Denver, who was represented in Italy by Mr. John Klein and Mr. Giorgio Mazzenga.

Mr. Klein had flown in straight from Houston, Texas with a cohort of 17 other oil execs and Mr. Rene Bakker, from the Paques Corporation.

They probably thought all they had to do was tell these Italian peasants that their magnificent oil refinery was going to be a job boon, safe, beautiful and giving out a fragrant fresh spring smell.

It is not the first time oilmen try to convince us to let them drill Abruzzo.

After more than four years, we are angry and tired but determined not to let Big Oil kill everything we are and have. We have kicked out Mediterranean Oil and Gas, Petroceltic, ENI and all their fracking friends, sending them back to where they came from.

We are sure we will defeat the Forest Oil Corporation as well.

For the past 5 years the Forest Oil corporation of Denver had been trying to drill the town of Bomba, which lays at the feet of a beloved recreational lake, and to put a nasty refinery in the midst of our towns, in an area that is geologically fragile.

Bomba is highly seismic, it periodically experiences mudslides, the natural subsidence rate is high, and back in the 1960s the oil company ENI decided not to drill the same location because it was not safe.

Today people live off of tourism, farming and winemaking.

That is who we are. Oil does not belong to our tradition. Period.

The Forest Oil Corporation carried out their plans in secret. For many years American investors know more about this natural gas drilling project than residents. They had no intention whatsoever of seeking dialogue with the people, or else they would have told us back in 2006.

But they choose silence instead and went ahead with their plans. About two years ago we saw them engaged in preliminary drilling and testing, we saw them building waste pits 200 meters from town, we saw them with their trucks, all these foreigners coming to a place where they did not belong.

So we started digging and we uncovered the truth, which in these internet days is easy to do: they really wanted to drill us and build a desulfurization plant.

Although the people and most local mayors knew nothing, some higher-up politicians did, and chose to stay silent, either for personal gain or just because they lacked the courage to stand up to Big Oil from the USA.

Thus, most - but not all - of the permits had been given. It was late, but not too late for us to work on stopping the Forest Oil Corporation and to put pressure on these lackluster politicians, and boy did we.

It has been two years of protests, of rebuttals, of letter writing, of independent scientists trying to explain to people why drilling Bomba is a bad idea, of us nagging our politicians and uncovering their wrong-doings.

We debunked every false statement the Forest Oil Corporation claimed on their environmental impact report. The church spoke up against them, merchants and tourism operators, school children and canoeing associations.

We told everyone about the way they treated Mr. James Mc Allen, donating him their radioactive waste without telling him about it, and how he got cancer most likely thanks to the Forest Oil Corporation.

We all came together to say no these bullies who give America a bad name.

Finally, the Forest Oil Corporation had no choice: if they wanted to save their project they had to come out and try to assuage us in person.

That is how Mr. Klein flew in to Bomba, from Houston.

The entire town was covered in signs and pickets saying no to the Forest Oil Corporation. The townhall was packed with people who wanted nothing else but to be left alone and to be who they have been for generations.

We did not believe one word Mr. Klein and his friends had to say.

They had their own interpreters and spoke English to us.

What arrogance. You want to drill us and can't even speak Italian? They probably thought they could sugar-coat answers and try to manipulate the truth - which they did try.

Thankfully, people in the audience knew English better than their interpreter, and people demanded translations be accurate.

Finally, after a lot of give and take, the Forest Oil Corporation had to admit that this desulfurization plant was going to be the largest of its type on the planet, and that the only other comparable one was located in the ... Texas desert 500 miles from the nearest town!

Now, how can you possible compare the Texas desert with a sleepy Italian village tucked in a verdant valley and where the closest homes would be about 200 meters from the refinery? Did they even know that according to their own calculations, the plant's exhaust would be beyond legal limits and end up directly into peoples' home?

The Forest Oil Corporation tried to tell us that their methods were "natural" - and what exactly about oil drilling is natural? - but they were booed and people were upset. The mayors of Altino, Bomba, Pizzoferrato, Gessopalena, Torricella Peligna and Bomba itself said no.

Later the Forest Oil Corporation themselves had to admit that they had never experienced such strong opposition from the people in their 95 year history.

All of this from a tiny Italian village!

The people won. Our "maybe" higher-ups politicians have no choice but say the final no and they have already pledged to do so.

A party is planned on August 8th 2011.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Elsa 2 Petroceltic: down the drain!

In yet another blow to the oil people from Ireland and the UK, and for Mr. Tom Bulford, the Italian Ministry for the Environment has denied approval to Elsa 2 as proposed by Petroceltic of Ireland.

Here is the news, the link to the Ministry's decision and a press release in Italian

Over the past year and a half, the Ministry had been inundated by phone calls, letters and environmental reports arguing against Elsa 2. We protested, marched and demanded actions be taken. Just as we have done for Ombrina Mare, we managed to get our point through to the authorities that may be.

We won.

Yesterday, May 23rd 2011, the Ministry finally came to the conclusion that we were right, and that it is pure folly to drill an oil rig just a few kilometers from the shores of Abruzzo and from a natural reserve.

Dear investors, as should be clear by now, Italy is not the place for oil drilling. We will keep fighting other oil rigs. We won't let you destroy this country.