Bankers Petroleum Albania is the largest oil production company in Albania. Bankers is not only the largest investment project financed by China in Albania, but it is also the largest Chinese investment project in the oil and gas industry, under the “One Belt, One Road” initiative in the European countries.
The project has always been to the attention of the China and Albania’s leaders. After the Chinese management team took over the leadership of the company in 2016, Bankers has recorded a very good performance, by giving a great contribution to the Albanian economy.
Production from the Patos-Marinza oilfield, the largest one in the continental Europe, represents about 90% of the total domestic oil, while during its activity in the country it has paid over US$ 820 Million in taxes and duties to the Albanian state.
Bankers has provided employment (direct and indirect) for 1500 people, most of whom are local employees and has cultivated a large number of talents in the oil sector for Albania.
Bankers has had the local community always in its attention. For this, it has invested about US$ 4.87 Million (since 2016) to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants, among which we can mention: projects for agricultural development; road construction; drainage projects; for business support of small and medium enterprises; coping with the consequences of the earthquake in 2019; projects for construction of schools; tree planting projects; healthcare clinic in Marinza.
During 2022, Bankers has made two important projects, the Sheqishte road in Patos area and the rehabilitation of Marinza in Roskovec. In total, more than US$ 200 thousand are spent on these projects that are very important for the residents of the area where Bankers operates.
After the difficult period it faced during the pandemic, Bankers resumed its drilling activity at the Patos-Marinza oilfield. The company plans to drill over 25 new oil wells (including 2 horizontal thermal wells) in the oilfield during this year.
In addition to drilling new horizontal wells, they have also designed a new strategy to produce with advanced technologies, such as thermic method that increases the energy in the layers and pushes more oil in the surface. Bankers will continue to be a long-term value investor and it is mutually beneficial and win-win with the Albanian government. Bankers will continue to expand production (planned to gradually increase to 1 million tons in the next three years). The company’s objective is to drill another 45 wells in the next year.
Bankers guarantees to invest more and continue to make greater contributions to Albania.
CEO of Bankers Petroleum Albania, Huangqin Xiao in an exclusive interview for the Albanian section of China Media Group with journalist Eda Merepeza talks about the company’s performance over the years and the objectives for the near future.
CMG: Bankers Petroleum Company is already from 6 years under the direction of the Chinese team, has it managed to achieve its objectives?
The Patos-Marinza oil field is the largest oil field (on land) in continental Europe. Bankers is the largest foreign investor in Albania. Since 2016 we have invested a lot of funds in this oilfield to develop and produce oil. Currently we have produced more than 5 million tons of oil during the last 6 years. We have 500 employees and meanwhile we have many subcontractors where through them we have 1500 indirect employees therefore Bankers enables a lot of employment for this country.
CMG: How did the Bankers company cope with the period of the Covid 19 pandemic?
The pandemic was very severe, especially during 2020, as oil prices dropped significantly, to very low levels. During that time we also reduced the activity of our field to a minimum for a short period, but still we did not dismiss any of our employees. And when oil prices increased, our employees continued to work as normal as the oilfield returned to normal production levels.
CMG: Does the global energy crisis and high oil prices affect your activity?
When oil prices rise we increase our investments and this year we will drill 25 new horizontal wells and maintain our production level. Next year, if oil prices continue to stay at favorable levels, we will increase our investments. We plan to drill 45 new horizontal wells not only to maintain our production level but to increase it to higher levels.
CMG: How is the extraction of crude oil from Bankers in the Patos-Marinza field? What measures have you taken to protect the environment?
We apply horizontal drilling oil well technology through polymer injection and PCP pumps. We will also apply thermal injection technology to increase the energy in the oil formations and consequently bring more oil to the surface and thus increase production. We take care to protect the environment during our operations. We monitor air, groundwater and surface water to maintain environmental standards while every day we use water to wet roads to reduce dust.
CMG: What are Bankers company’s investments for the benefit of the area community?
Bankers considers itself not only a producer of hydrocarbons but also part of the community. We must contribute to the community to improve the lives of residents living near our area of operation. We have reconstructed roads, built sewage systems, set up health clinics, kindergartens and schools for the residents near the area.
CMG: What are the company’s other collaborations with the cultural, academic field?
Yes, we have a very good cooperation with the Institute of Chinese Culture in Albania. Meanwhile, university students do internships at Bankers, they learn new things at Bankers while we can choose the best ones to hire and here they can grow quickly professionally.
Bankers applies very advanced technologies to produce oil, so young people who are employed by us can learn a lot about them and improve themselves. In addition, salaries in Bankers are very competitive in Albania.
CMG: Bankers Petroleum Albania’s plans for 2023?
We have already planned the budget for next year. We will drill more wells, especially horizontal thermal wells, 15 of them. We will use thermal boilers to produce more oil and production next year will be higher than this year. More production means more taxes and revenue for the government and for the community.
CMG: How do you feel in Albania?
I feel very good in Albania. The weather is warm, the winter is mild, it is very welcoming to live. People are very friendly and our team is very strong and united and I feel very good to work and live here in Fieri, Albania.
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