In Albanien fördert diese Firma bereits 2.900 Barrel Öl pro Tag.

Bankers Petroleum to search for oil reserves in Macedonia


The Canadian firm Bankers Petroleum is currently pumping over 2,900 barrels of oil per day at a site in Albania. It is now seeking to expand its operations into neighbouring Macedonia.

By Zoran Nikolovski for Southeast European Times in Skopje - 08/06/06

Bankers Petroleum is already pumping oil at the Patos Marinza field in Albania. [Bankers Petroleum]

Decades ago, the former Yugoslav government began digging for oil in what is now the independent republic of Macedonia. The project was halted for unexplained reasons. Following a spate of articles in the Macedonian media, however, interest has picked up again and a Canadian company -- Bankers Petroleum -- is becoming involved.

In May, the firm signed a memorandum of co-operation with the government, paving the way for investment in the search for oil reserves in the country.

"Macedonia has had information since the 1970s, and we are willing to give the information in line with the confidentiality procedures," said Economy Minister Fatmir Besimi. "I hope this co-operation will be completed successfully, and within a month at most, the government will give Bankers Petroleum the concession to explore," he added.

The proposed exploration will be carried out in the Ovce Pole area, in eastern Macedonia. The former Yugoslav Exploration Institute carried out drilling to about 400m in depth, and reports suggest that shale indicating the presence of oil and gas was discovered. T

he next step is for the Canadian firm to sign a consent agreement with the government on obtaining access to existing information on digging opportunities. After that, a joint team will be formed to draft a plan for technical procedures.

Bankers Petroleum has already worked on a project of similar scope in neighbouring Albania, investing $20m there, company president Richard Wordsworth noted. As of April, the company was pumping over 2,900 barrels of oil per day at the Patos Marinza field in Albania -- Europe's largest onshore heavy oil field, according to Financial Insights.

"We wish to expand our activities in the region. Macedonia offers solid possibilities in that respect," he added after his meeting with Besimi.

Bankers Petroleum also has drilling sites in the Palo Duro Basin of west Texas. The company began operations in the oil and gas sector in July 2004 and has raised approximately $50m since then.