Shell Albania has stated they will not do drilling for oil and gas in the Vjosa River, independently of results of their current survey which has raised concerns with residents.
In a press statement on Sunday, they said the survey in the area technically called “Block 4”, is being carried out to “better understand the prospects of Block 2 discovery”. Block 2 is another area in the region exploited for oil and gas by Shell.
“The geophysical survey Shell is conducting in Block 4 serves us to better understand the prospects of Block 2 discovery. Irrespective of the results of the geophysical survey, Shell will not do drilling for oil and gas in the Vjosa River, which is a natural monument of special importance, which we will respect,” Ante Frens, Country Chair of Shell in Albania, said.
The company said they have authorized Geotec S.p.A to conduct a geophysical survey on behalf of Shell in Block 4 to find out whether there is oil and gas in the area.
Block 4 lies only meters away from the Vjosa River and includes several villages along the river.
The company signed a contract with the Albanian government in 2018 for the “exploration, development and production of petroleum in Block 4, with extension in Blocks 2 and 3, onshore”.