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Friday 05 December, 2014


Empire Energy Court Case Update

RNS Number : 9492Y
05 December 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                

("TXO" or the "Company")



TXO PLC, the AIM-quoted energy resource and clean technology investment company, announces that the following statement was issued by Paul Batista, Empire's counsel:

New York, New York, Dec. 4, 2014 -- Paul Batista, the attorney representing Empire Energy Corporation International, an energy resources company, announced that today the New York State judge overseeing the litigation between Empire and Smart Win International Limited, a Hong Kong firm, has set April 13, 2015, as the trial date.

The underlying lawsuit stems from a 2006 agreement between Empire and Smart Win under which Smart Win committed itself to providing as much as AUD $5 million to finance drilling for oil and other energy resources at locations in Tasmania where Empire held licenses from the government to drill. Smart Win, which refused to advance the full AUD $5 million, has claimed that Empire should return approximately AUD $3.9 million.

In its claims against Smart Win, Empire has asserted that Smart Win breached the 2006 contract by falling to advance the full AUD $5 million financing and that Smart Win's conduct caused the collapse of the drilling venture and inflicted on Empire in excess of AUD $1 billion in damages.

According to Mr. Batista, Empire and its Chief Executive Officer, Malcolm Bendall, have agreed to proceed to trial without a jury. Mr. Batista said, "Justice Jeffrey K. Oing, a highly respected judge, has consistently demonstrated a complete grasp of the legal and factual issues raised by this case. The judge recently denied a motion for summary judgment brought by Smart Win, and in the course of denying the motion by Smart Win commented, among other things, that the trier of fact, whether the judge or a jury, would have to evaluate the propriety of Smart Win's 'turning off the spigot' before providing the full financing amount of AUD $5 million."

According to Mr. Batista, Empire's decision to try the case before Justice Oing was also based on the judge's recent ruling, on October, 30, 2014, that Empire was entitled to seek to prove that Smart Win breached the 2006 agreement and that Smart Win's breach led to significant losses to Empire far in excess of any claims that Smart Win might have against Empire. Mr. Batista also said, "In deciding to proceed with a trial before Justice Oing only, as Smart Win itself had requested, Empire was also motivated by the fact that a trial with a jury could last twice as long as a trial before Justice Oing. No one can ever predict the outcome of a trial, whether it is held before a judge only or a judge presiding over a jury, but Empire has full confidence in its position that it did not breach the contract, that Empire owes nothing to Smart Win, and that, in fact, Smart Win's misconduct caused many millions of dollars in damages to Empire. We intend to do our best to prove this to Justice Oing at trial."

The selection of April 13 as the firm trial date was based in part on Justice Oing's own established schedule in other cases and the fact that Smart Win intends to present several Chinese witnesses who would be engaged in late February through March in events surrounding the Chinese New Year and routine regulatory requirements that the witnesses and the companies that employ them would have to meet.


Chairman Tim Baldwin said "The company considers this to be positive for Empire".


For further information please refer to the following:

5 December 2014

For further information, please contact:


Tim Baldwin, Chairman                                     +44 (0) 207 518 4300


Northland Capital Partners Limited                +44 (0) 207 382 1100
John Howes / Alice Lane

Sales and Broking


Edward Hutton / William Vandyk

Nominated Adviser


Lothbury Financial Services Limited
Michael Padley / Chris Roberts                       +44 (0) 203 440 7620


Editors' Note

TXO PLC, the AIM quoted oil and gas investment company, has four main investments namely: The Grand Bahama Group Limited ("GBG") which is establishing a waste oil collection facility and Hydrocarbon Recovery Plant in the Bahamas at Freeport and also produces oil from its leases in Western Kentucky, USA; Oil Recovery Services Limited ("ORS"), which has proprietary technology for the reprocessing of contaminated oils and the remediation of dirty water; Oil Tech Royalties Inc ("OTR"), a joint venture company with a licence to commercialise a proprietary acoustic flow reactor valve; Athabasca Resources Limited ("Athabasca Resources") which has signed an agreement to acquire a 50 per cent. farm-in interest in certain Alberta Crown Leases covering 7,936 hectares in the Athabasca oil sands in Alberta, Canada.  TXO also has an interest in Tasmania Oil and Gas Limited ("TOG") a joint venture company set-up to exploit a gas and oil opportunity in Tasmania, Australia, which is non-core.

TXO currently holds a 35.67 per cent. interest in GBG, a 25.1 per cent. interest in ORS, a 30 per cent. interest in OTR  and an 18.8 per cent. interest in Athabasca Resources. It retains a 25 per cent. interest in TOG.


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

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