TIRANA, Albania – A legal row over tax payments between the government of Albania and Canadian-based Bankers Petroleum Ltd. has escalated, with the oil company threatening to cut production.
Albania’s tax department last month froze the company’s bank account after alleging it had not properly paid its taxes. Bankers Petroleum has in return filed two complaints with the International Court of Arbitration. On Wednesday, it threatened “to curtail production” unless its account is unblocked.
The Albanian government dismissed such threats, suggesting the oil fields “belong to all Albanians and cannot be misused or used as a threat to the country.”
Bankers Petroleum has been operating in Albania’s oil-rich Patos-Marinze area since 2004, raising its production from 40,000 tons per year to one million currently.