The Albanian Competition Authority has launched an investigation into Bankers Petroleum, the largest oil producer in the country.
The Chinese-owned firm is being probed for possible violations of competition rules in relation to the production and trade of crude oil. The action occurred following media reports on protests and a hunger strike launched by employees of the Balsh refinery that is operated by local company Tosk Energy. They have accused Bankers of creating the situation through illegal competitive practices.
Banker’s have denied the claim stating that “The subject of the Competition Authority’s activity is not the contractual relationship between the parties, but the establishment of free and effective competition in the market, against any entity that violates competition rules.”
They added that Tosk Energy failed to fulfil terms and conditions of the Crude Sales Contract from 2019 and are therefore in full breach of the clauses. They added that they are already taking action in court for defamation on the matter.
Bankers launched operations in Albania in 2004 but were purchased by Chinese company Geo-Jade for EUR 400 million in 2016. The Competition Authority said it would launch a 6-month investigation into whether Bankers had abused their dominance in the oil production sector.