IFC is supporting the further privatization of the Patos Marinza oilfield in Southern Albania to help revive an outmoded industry and promote the reduction of pollution in the area. IFC has approved a $50 million loan plus a special-purpose, environmental term-loan of $5 million to Bankers Petroleum, a Canadian oil and gas company. IFC also committed to make an equity investment of up to 12 million Canadian dollars.
Bankers Petroleum has been operating a small portion of the Patos Marinza oilfield since 2004. The current expansion of Bankers’ operation will modernize the oilfield, transferring specialized technical know-how and experience to a largely local workforce. This will contribute revenues to the Albanian government and help promote much-needed foreign direct investment.
“IFC’s financial support at this time of tight credit markets is vital to carrying out a large development project at Patos Marinza,” said Abby Badwi, CEO of Bankers Petroleum. “We particularly appreciate their expertise in helping us to involve other stakeholders in tackling the significant environmental remediation needs in the oilfield. In addition, this sizable long-term investment will allow our company continued access to competitive and sustainable financing arrangements to fund currently planned and future growth opportunities in Albania.”
Patos Marinza is severely polluted following decades of ownership by the state-owned operator Albpetrol. Bankers Petroleum will clean up existing wells taken over from Albpetrol and help reduce pollution and oilfield-contamination risks as they expand their activities in the area.
“This project is a good example of how investing in the private sector can lead to tangible benefits for people on the ground,” said Somit Varma, IFC’s Global Head for Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals. “While IFC provides financing to help improve recovery rates and accelerate domestic oil production, we also help the company to contribute to environmental remediation initiatives aimed at improving living conditions in the surrounding area.”