TIRANA: Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell said it had made “a significant light oil discovery” in Shpirag, a mountain region some 120 kilometres (72 miles) from the Albanian capital Tirana as earlier tests bore fruit.
“We are pleased that these initial tests have confirmed the potential of this discovery and look forward to growing our business in Albania,” vice-president of the group in charge of the exploration Marc Gerrits was quoted by a statement as saying.
Shell Upstream Albania, the Albanian branch of the oil group and a partner on the project since 2012, estimated that the deposit has a production potential of “several thousand barrels every day”.
In parallel with the production launch Shell will continue its explorations in the region of Shpirag.
The announcement “is very important news for the Albanian oil and gas industry… this is the first such discovery in last 30 years,” Albanian Energy Minister Belinda Balluku told reporters.
According to the authorities, Albania currently produces some 18,000 gross barrels of oil per day, but experts estimate that non-exploited reserves are still plentiful.
These are believed notably to be along the coast in areas where Albania and Greece disagree over maritime borders.