In Albania, the multinational company Shell has closed the research phase in the Shpirag field, and it is expected that in October it will start the final test, the results of which will depend on whether it will continue with oil and gas extraction operations. This was announced today by Prime Minister Edi Rama, according to whom the quality of the discovered oil is of the highest levels. Mr. Rama said that if everything goes positively then this discovery could have a historic impact on the economic development but also on the geopolitical and geostrategic position of Albania.
A day after his visit to one of the drilling wells in the Shpirag area where for several years the British multinational Shell has been conducting research for oil and gas, Prime Minister Edi Rama said today that the process is one step away from confirming the continuation or not of extraction operations and then trading. In the month of October, the final testing is expected to start to assess the stability of the pressure of the oil flow and, consequently, the financial feasibility of the entire further operation.
“The reserve is there at 6,002 meters underground. The reserve is affected, after a very difficult exploration due to the geological formation of the area and a massive investment made due to the repeated breakage of the probes as a result of the geological formation. The interesting news is that the water, which is under the reserve, has not yet been mentioned, which presumes that the size of the reserve could be even larger. We are not in the conditions where we can talk about concrete figures because it would be wrong”, declared Mr. Rama.
The Prime Minister announced that the analyzes carried out by the company have shown that it is a matter of a very high quality oil, comparable to the premium of Saudi Arabia, and if the test results are expected to be completed, the maximum up to two weeks the first of January, are positive, then, according to the Prime Minister, it is about an “important discovery which can have a historical impact on the economic and social development, but not only that, but also on the geopolitical and geostrategic position of Albania”.
From an economic point of view, the company’s investment in infrastructure and logistics alone is estimated to start at 3 billion euros. Spread over years, this value, according to the company itself, can reach 7 billion. Even the direct benefits of Albania are expected to be at very high levels, so much so that the government, as it became known today, has started preparations for the establishment of a sovereign fund, according to the model of countries that have significant oil resources. “It is not an income of 500 million euros per year, which goes directly to the state budget to cover the needs, but there is talk of much higher income which cannot be managed by the state budget and will be managed by the Sovereign Fund , as happened with oil in Norway, with oil in Saudi Arabia, in Azerbaijan and everywhere else”, explained the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Belinda Balluku.
A part of the income is expected to go to the pension fund, for investments in education or health, while a part will be used to invest in markets inside and outside the country to further increase the portfolio of the Sovereign Fund.