Paydirt for March 14, 2018: Albania seeking proposals for three producing String of Pearls oilfields

 Albania government concessions from back in 1925. In recent weeks, Albpetrol has announced it is seeking concession agreements for three producing oilfields in the south of Albania.

Albania government concessions from back in 1925. In recent weeks, Albpetrol has announced it is seeking concession agreements for three producing oilfields in the south of Albania.

Tenders part of state-owned Albpetrol’s move toward privatization

As Albania continues to privatize its energy industry, the Balkan republic is now looking for a trio of pearly propositions.

Last week, Albpetrol Sh.A, Albania’s state-owned oil and gas company, announced it is seeking concession agreements for three oilfields in the southern portion of the country—Gorisht-Kocul, Cakran-Mollaj, and Amonica.

All three tracts are part of the so-called String of Pearls, a series of producing fields along a northwest-southeast fault line that runs down the spine of Albania.

The Amonica field—which has produced more than 4 million barrels of oil since its 1994 discovery—lies within Pennine Petroleum Corporation’s 306-square-kilometer Velca Block concession, although it is the only zone excluded from PNN’s Velca Block Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with Albpetrol.

Pennine is targeting a spudding date of early third quarter 2018 for the Ramica structure target—which offsets the Amonica field, and has a best-case scenario of 26.5 million barrels of recoverable hydrocarbons, according to a May 2017 independent prospective resource estimate.

“The restructuring that Albpetrol has recently announced will clearly involve some short-term pain, but state privatization of energy will ultimately be beneficial for Albania—through ongoing revenue generation and overall prosperity for the Albanian people,” says Pennine CEO N. Desmond Smith.

Tenders for these three fields—all of which are producing fields—will be open until March 31, says Albpetrol.

Production numbers for those fields are as follows:

  • Gorisht is producing 1,000 barrels a day, with 135 of 295 drilled wells in production;
  • Cakran is producing 500 barrels a day, with 24 of 64 drilled wells in production; and
  • Amonica is producing 120 barrels a day, with 23 of 60 drilled wells in production.

According to government figures, Albania has 220 million barrels in oil reserves and 5.7 billion cubic metres of natural gas reserves. The Patos-Marinza oilfield, also part of the String of Pearls, is the largest onshore field in Europe—and production of its heavy oil was pioneered by Bankers Petroleum Ltd., led at the time by current PNN chairman Richard Wadsworth.

As we have mentioned in the past, we are also motivated to explore the possibility of joint venture opportunities for producing wells in Albania, and elsewhere in southeast Europe,” remarks Mr. Smith.