The fully state-owned Albanian oil firm Albpetrol will retake control of the Gorisht-Kocul oilfield east of the coastal town of Vlore and the Cakran-Mollaj oilfield in south central Albania, according to an Albpetrol statement. The state-owned company will retake control of the oilfields from the US-based GBC Oil unit TransAtlantic Albania. Albeptrol has already launched a procedure to regain control of the Gorisht-Kocul oil zone and will launch a procedure to take back the Cakran-Mollaj oilfield in the coming days. Albpetrol said its decision was prompted by the accumulation of USD 20mn worth of debts by TransAtlantic Albania to the Albanian government. Most of the debt was accumulated in the 2008-2013 period.
Operations in the two oilfields were halted in December, which resulted in economic losses and a fall in exports. The halt of operations in the oilfields also increased environmental and health risks for the population of the nearby towns. After retaking control of the oilfields, Albpetrol plans to operate them on its own and transfer the profit to the state budget.