Why Albania? Why Pennine? Why now?
Albania is located in southeastern Europe; is bordered by Greece to the south, Macedonia to the east, Kosovo to the northeast and Montenegro to the northwest; and is less than 72 kilometres from Italy across the Adriatic Sea.
Albania covers an area of 28,748 square kilometres, which is similar in size to South Carolina and Maine.
Albania is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the United Nations, and the World Trade Organization. Albania is also a candidate for membership in the European Union.
Albania is a stable and safe country in southeastern Europe, and has attracted significant foreign investment for the development of its energy sector.
Albania initiated oil development and production in the 1920s, and is benefiting from western technologies.
Albania is an emerging energy player, steadily gaining momentum in the international community as a stable and reliable oil and gas producer. With proven reserves, a long history of oil development, and extensive infrastructure, exploration activity in Albania has potential for significant reward.
Pennine’s management team and board of directors can leverage years’ worth of hard-won expertise in southeastern Europe.
Pennine’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. N. Desmond Smith brings considerable experience in developing international energy assets, and has been involved in exploring and developing energy assets in Western Canada for over 30 years.
Pennine chairman and director Mr. Richard Wadsworth is the former co-founder, president and chief operating officer of Bankers Petroleum, overseeing the company’s production in Albania from 500 boe/d to more than 7,000 boe/d. Mr. Wadsworth also established the first drilling in the country since the 1980s, and negotiated the first oil exports from Albania.
Pennine director Mr. Jeff Saxinger has been actively involved in oil and gas engineering, procurement and construction for two decades.
With the current climate offering little exploration opportunity in North America, Albania, by contrast, is an attractive prospect through its welcoming environment and its relatively low production costs.
On February 14, 2017 Pennine signed the Production Sharing Agreement with Albpetrol ShA for the exploration and development of the Velca block in Albania.
The finalized production-sharing agreement contains a licence agreement signed by Pennine, Albania's Ministry of Energy and Industry, and Albpetrol (the country's state-owned energy firm) for a six-year exploratory lease -- convertible to a 25-year production lease upon discovery of oil and/or natural gas accumulations.
The Velca block is located 10 kilometres southeast of the city of Vlore, a coastal city with a population of just over 100,000.
The Velca block contains 250 kilometres of 2-D seismic and two hydrocarbon indicative wells.