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Albanian discoveries could change Europe’s energy future

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Speaking to journalists, Edi Rama, the Prime Minister of Albania, said that Shell is on the verge of announcing the discovery of substantial oil and gas reserves in Albanian territory, possibly having positive implications for Europe’s future energy security.

Shell, which also makes lubricants like grease and commercial vehicle oil, has been geographically surveying two blocks in Albania – one in the vicinity of Berat and another that covers elements of the Vjosa River and large areas of countryside.

The possibility of drilling in the Vjosa River, which is the last wild river in Europe, has attracted controversy, however, with many wanting it to be designated as a national park. For its part, Shell has said that regardless of its survey’s results, it will not be drilling there, a view echoed by the Albanian Government.

Rama said about the potential discoveries:

“We are very hopeful that soon we will be able to share with [the world] an important discovery made by Shell in our country. They are reluctant to talk about numbers at the moment, but all signs point to a very important discovery of gas and oil reserves in the ground.”

Rama added that such a discovery would not only affect Albania’s future but also contribute to Europe’s energy supply. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many European leaders have sought to find alternatives to imported Russian gas.

Substantial discoveries of gas reserves in Europe itself would help with this, although it should be noted that such discoveries take a number of years to develop.

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