This is the best time to invest in the Albanian petroleum and gas industry, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said at the 22nd World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul on Monday.
Rama stated despite the country's troubled past, Albania is now making strides to modernize and ensure the country is in a good position to attract investment and develop trade in this sector.
"Our country has large unexplored resources that potentially makes us a new oil frontier miles away from the Middle East," he said.
Rama said the country has one of the largest operating onshore oil fields in Europe - the Patos Marinza discovered in 1928.
He explained that Albania now has a clear strategy to offer legal protection and fiscal incentives for any investments in the petroleum sector.
"Due to the increased need for more energy at cheaper prices, we have come to realize that not only have we to step up efforts for more efficiency and diversification, but we also have come to the understanding that we must act all together," Rama underlined.
Cooperation between governments and the private sector is essential to ensure stable and steady growth in the oil sector, Rama stated.
Affirming Albania's geographic position, Rama said the country is located along some of the most important energy routes, including the Trans-Adriatic Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
"Our wider petroleum strategy focuses on diversification of petroleum energy resources, the increase of crude oil production, auction of free oil and gas blocs based on competitive procedures, increase of refining capacities, increase of storage capacity and restructuring of the petrol stations and the integration of the Albanian energy sector's legal framework with regional and EU energy markets," he explained.
Rama said that the country is also is in the process of restructuring of its state-owned oil company, Albpetrol.