‘We’re busy getting established in Albania,’ says company CEO
All journeys begin with a single step.
And with plans for its Albanian drilling program moving right along, Pennine Petroleum Corporation is busying itself with building a Balkan base.
During a week-long trip to the southeastern European nation earlier this month, Pennine (TSX-V: PNN) executives began taking steps toward establishing an Albanian branch office in the capital city of Tirana.
“Right now we’re busy getting established in Albania,” says Pennine CEO N. Desmond Smith. “While we were in Albania, that meant chatting with our auditors, Ernst & Young (EY), to get all the documentation ready to set up our branch office.
“We also held discussions with the Canadian consulate, for the establishment of consular services for Canadians travelling back and forth to Albania,” adds Mr. Smith, “and we’ve also been touching base with service and supply companies doing business in the country.
“The general theme here is that Pennine is starting work in Albania.”
Pennine leadership also spent a day at the Ministry of Energy and Industry’s seismic data storage center in Fier, where geophysical and core data, and chip samples from all wells drilled in Albania, are housed.
“This is the repository for all well and geophysical information in the Republic of Albania,” says Mr. Smith. “Accessing this facility allows us to gather and analyze existing data for our areas of interest.
“Effectively, this reduces risk—since this scientific information narrows down our target sites for drilling.”
Pennine’s recent CAD$1-million non-brokered financing is being used for pre-drilling activities, including the seismic and geological process, with Pennine expecting to have drill targets selected in the Velca Block by spring 2018.
Those pre-drilling activities include securing environmental permits and identification of a drilling contractor for the Velca Block.
As for necessary environmental permits and assessments, Mr. Smith noted that Albania has been an official candidate for European Union membership since June 2014.
“As soon as Albania becomes an EU member, it would take on EU environmental regulations,” he says, “so we’re assuming that eventuality and planning accordingly.”