Paydirt for Oct. 20, 2017: Pennine’s ground game in Albania keeps gaining yardage

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While government works through final regulatory stages of Velca Block agreement, PNN putting plenty of logistical details in place

In gridiron parlance, a good ground game is essential to victory.

And Pennine Petroleum Corporation is piling up plenty of yardage in Albanian activities, metaphorically speaking, since signing its Velca Block Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) in February 2017.

While Pennine is waiting to receive the allowance from the Albanian government to withdraw geotechnical data, PNN has been very active in the Balkan nation readying itself for the selection of an initial Velca Block drilling target, says Chief Executive Officer N. Desmond Smith.

“The government is working through the final regulatory stages of our Velca Block PSA,” notes Mr. Smith. “In the meantime, we’ve been on the ground in Albania taking care of the details that will keep this process moving along.”

Since Pennine signed the Velca Block PSA in February, Pennine’s key activities have included:

  • Commissioning and receiving an NI 51-101 compliant Prospective Resource Report;
  • Establishing a relationship with refineries in close proximity to potential production regions;
  • Analyzing adjacent producing fields for potential joint venture participation;
  • Setting up a local branch office in Tirana, the capital of Albania;
  • Establishing an engagement with the Tirana office of Pennine’s auditors, EY;
  • Establishing a relationship with an internationally recognized Austrian bank;
  • Engaging health, safety and environmental personnel;
  • Identifying a supply chain manager for future office administration and management of import/export contracts for staff and equipment (drilling, production);
  • Hiring interpreters for ongoing communication with local officials, including government;
  • Identifying potential in-country drilling contractors; and
  • Steadily accumulating the data required to define priority drill target(s) through liaising with Albanian personnel.

“We understand that the Albanian election campaign, June’s vote, and the assignment of various government ministries—a process that basically ran from April through the end of September—have frustrated some of our shareholders,” says Mr. Smith. “But you’ve got to walk before you can run, and we’re establishing ourselves for a productive and fruitful relationship here that will benefit both the people of Albania and Pennine’s shareholders.”