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EBRD helps revamp largest oil deposit in Albania

By EBRD  Press Office

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The EBRD is providing $64.5 million to modernise the Patos Marinza oil field in southern Albania, one of the largest onshore oil deposits in continental Europe. The Bank financing will help improve environmental standards in Albania’s oil industry and reduce pollution in the southern region of Albania.

The EBRD financing will be used to support an extensive development programme including environmental improvement by the Canadian oil and gas company Bankers Petroleum Albania Ltd, which has been operating in the Patos Marinza area since 2004.

EBRD will provide $50 million to modernise operations by implementing advanced technologies in oil handling and production techniques. An additional $5 million loan will be used to minimise environmental damage in the area including addressing long-standing problems such as leakages and spills.

The EBRD will also make an equity investment in Bankers Petroleum Albania Ltd of up to CAD $12 million (US$9.5 million). The International Finance Corporation is co-financing the project with equal amounts.

Patos Marinza is one of the European oil deposits with the highest potential but also one of the most heavily environmentally damaged in Europe, following decades underinvestment and poor maintenance standards.

EBRD’s investment will help Bankers Petroleum Albania Ltd to radically improve the standards of operations and production efficiency by transferring advanced technologies and know-how to the local work force. The project will also bring considerable environmental benefits to the heavily contaminated Patos Marinza field and nearby residents by reducing pollution in the area. The on-shore oil deposits are an important source of public revenue and energy security for Albania which can now look forward to more sustainable and efficient development.

“With this project, the EBRD is providing much-needed long-term funding to support high-quality private investments in the Albanian oil sector. By investing to modernise in Bankers Petroleum’s operations, the Bank will help revamp the oil industry in Albania, and is helping to set higher standards for environmental management throughout the economy”, said Kevin Bortz, EBRD Director for Natural Resources.

Abby Badwi, President and CEO of Bankers stated that “EBRD’s financial support at this time of tight credit markets is vital to carrying out such a large development project. In addition, this long-term investment will allow the Company continued access to competitive and sustainable financing arrangements to fund currently planned and future growth opportunities in Albania”.

Bankers Petroleum Albania Ltd is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bankers Petroleum Ltd., a Calgary-based oil and gas exploration and production company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and London (AIM) Stock Exchange. Bankers Petroleum is committed to environmental, health safety and social aspects of sustainable development of this energy resource and along with the EBRD/IFC investments is taking an important participating role in public action forums and working groups.

The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Albania. Infrastructure development and rehabilitation of the energy sector in Albania are among EBRD’s key focus areas. To date the Bank has implemented 40 projects in Albania with a total value of €1.4 billion.

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