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Opinion / Editorial

Spiragu and race against time!

Spiragu and race against time!

The search process for oil and natural gas in the Shpirag area started early, with the approval of the Production Sharing Contract in July 2009, based on our Hydrocarbons Law of 1993. According to yesterday's statement of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, it has been proven and scientifically documented the discovery of a significant basin of 225 million barrels of oil in the underground of Shpirag, along with a significant amount of natural gas. Oil quality tests in this basin have proven that Shpirag oil is very light. So, of a very high quality, with a gravity between 35-37 degrees API (American Petroleum Institute). It is almost the same as the Premium oil that is extracted in the Persian Gulf. The time it takes to bring this oil to the market depends on the very special geology of the underground rocks of Shpirag and the realization of an equally special technology for the industrial use of the basin. But you have to hurry! The price of crude oil that is sold in the world (Brent crude oil) may not stay 90 US dollars per barrel, which is today. of All 704 thousand of our pensioners cannot wait. This amount of oil must be extracted on the ground and our country must take its share, according to the contract with the British and Dutch company "Shell Plc.". The share of the Albanian state for the 225 million barrels of Shpirag oil could be 3 billion euros! In the event that oil stays at 90 US dollars for another year or two, until industrial production starts here. But who can give us this guarantee? Due to the increase in the production and sales of electric cars everywhere in the world (their sales have captured 18 percent of the total new vehicles sold in the first quarter of January-March 2024), the ten largest companies of discovery, extraction and oil refiners are now revising their plans to invest in new oil wells. And not only those. We are in a strong race against time. Shell had a turnover of over 317 billion US dollars in 2023 and a net profit of 19.6 billion US dollars in 2023. It is the fifth largest company in the world, in terms of investments in the discovery, production and sales of oil. This company must tell the government and our state what it thinks to do with Shpirag oil. He had told our government that in October 2023 he would do another test drilling and decide. Six months have passed since then and he still hasn't decided. Albanians cannot wait. Time does not work for us. The Shell company entered Albania in 2012. Today it owns 100% of the usage permits for Blocks 2, 3 and 4, the area from Berat to Permet. The area of ??Blocks 2, 3 and 4 of oil exploration and exploitation is 4,084 km2. All the talk about the alleged failure of Shell in Albania came out a few days ago, from a figure taken out of context in the financial report of the first quarter of 2024 of the company, published on April 5, 2024.In this financial report, Shell notes that it has made write-offs from the 2024 balance of expenses for opening research wells (in English, "well exploration write-offs") at the level of 600 million dollars, with the setting "mainly in Albania". It is not the first time that Shell, like every other oil-exploring company in the world, has written off expenses for drilling exploration wells from the balance sheet of the financial year. So did Shell in the fourth quarter of 2023 for US$200 million. American oil companies have done it en masse in the oil-rich underground of the state of Texas in the United States of America in 1979-1980, after the invitation of the American federal government. They write their well costs off the balance sheet. The wells of Texas to this day continue to be closed, as a strategic reserve of the American people. But we cannot accept, even for a few months, that the oil of Shpirag be stopped! It should be used for the benefit of the contracted private investor and our economy. First of all, our pensioners. The race against time for Shpirag oil has started and it is relentless.