Gjendja e përgjithshme
Crude oil production in Albania has tripled over the last decade to 1.369 million tons in 2014, with Bankers Petroleum, which leads almost all production growth. The map below shows the oil and natural resources location in the country. The Patos-Marinza oilfield in Albania is continental Europe’s largest onshore oilfield. Bankers Petroleum (Bankers), has a 25-year license agreement with the Albanian National Agency for Natural Resources and the state oil and Gas Company. Bankers holds full rights to the Kuçova oilfield 20 kilometres east of Patos-Marinza, which has 297 million barrels of original oil-in-place, and as well a seven-year exploration license on the 185,000-acre Block F, which is contiguous to the Patos-Marinza field and is prospective for natural gas.
There is very little analysis available with regard to the state of development of the oil sector. The worst known one is the development of the Bankers Petroleum in the Patos – Marinza oil fields. Even though the government pretends that Bankers is one of the big contributors in GDP we will focus on the disputes and socio-environmental problems raising from the site.
Shpërthimi i gazit natyral dhe naftës
An enormous eruption of natural gas and oil occurred is caused near the village of Patos-Marinzë, in southern Albania, where the Canadian-based company Bankers Petroleum has been drilling for years. Some people got injured, homes were partially destroyed and, more importantly, many inhabitants of the area and of nearby villages have continuously reported an increasing number of diseases linked to this environmental pollution, even some cases of unexpected cancer symptoms. The unpleasant smell in the air, sludge pits, rusty scrap heaps, dusty roads and heavy lorry traffic is associated with lack of agricultural activities and extreme poverty.
Public uproar forced the Albanian government to investigate the deeds of the company, which, notwithstanding the explosions, has always claimed that the environmental pollution is an effect of previous and environmentally hostile technology, for which it is not responsible. It is a fact though that the company received public money as grant from the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) for environmental remediation of the fields. There have been no serious technological investments, only adjustments to increase raw material excavation. There have also been allegations that profits have been hidden and taxes evaded. There has been no expansion of the working force; on the contrary numerical diminishing, and a deterioration of the working conditions, and last, but not the least, an increase in environmental pollution.
 ASIG http://www.criticatac.ro/lefteast/great-albanian-oil-robbery/
Ndikimet në mjedis
The table below represents a list of environmental and social problems associated with the current development in the Patos Marinza oil field (Ballsh and Kuçova are not part of this overview, but problems are similar)
There are no governmental data that recognizes the direct link between the increased human health problems in the area (increased cancer cases, respiratory problems, head aches etc) and the pollution in Patos Marinza. Nonetheless the reported cases of health problems are evident.
Ndotja e ujit të pijshëm
Drilling activities and surface spilling of the oil as well as unmanaged sludge has led to increase pollution of drinking water. Most of the inhabitants in the area do use well as a mean of water supply.
Cilësia e ajrit
Air quality is a concern for local people. There is neither sludge treatment plant, nor installation of vaporizers that and address the pollution problems.
Ndotja e ujërave sipërfaqësorë dhe nëntokësorë
There are no reliable data about the pollution cause by Bankers/ oil sector in the underground water. While, nonetheless that direct measures are not done on the spots, the quality of surface waters reported in the State of Environment report shows the bad quality of water in the nearby passing rivers.
The quality and quantity of products from the agricultural activities are poor. Polluted water, dust and air pollution seems to cause regular damage to agriculture in the area.
No of employment on the area is very low. Incomes for employers/ family are extremely low if compared with the sibling ones in the EU countries. Public investments are missing totally. The damages in inhabitant’s houses due to the explosions and the frequent earthquakes are huge.
Standards of operation from the concessionary, human health and environmental pollution.
Issues and challenges coming out of the project field visit in Patos Marinez
Pamundësia e Bashkisë për të monitoruar dhe kontrolluar sasinë e ndotjes
Municipality of Patos is ready for cooperation however they are reluctant to understand/implement the role of Municipality in protecting the inhabitant’s health. Municipality does not have the environmental data/information related to pollution in Air, Water and Soil in their territory. Project can help with making this information accessible through the platform… with the help of the responsible institutions Institute of Public Health and Agency for Use of Natural Resources.
Mungesa e informacionit zyrtar të besueshëm
Access to reliable public data on pollution of the territory of Patos-Marinez, remains at the discretion of the oil extracting industry operating in the territory.
Paaftësia e bashkisë për të transmetuar shqetësimet e banorëve tek institucionet përkatëse
Community representatives were very disappointed and irritated with the current situation ongoing for 10 years and were asking for the support of the municipality to file a request to the central government for their displacement from the industry area conform the legal framework. Project can assist and facilitate them in understanding their rights, raising their voice, accessing information through the platform etc. The tension between the local community and municipality because of the high expectation from the citizens the municipality to intervene and deliver results in reducing pollution could be eased by drawing lines between the competences of the authorities at all levels: from local to national. The project could produce a paper of analysis (mapping the powers) who is competent to do what, so that people would know to whom to turn for support, information or press for solutions.
In some cases the environmental problems are crossing administrative boundaries (like the impact of the Patos-Marinza oil field) and the local authorities and local communities should press for regional solutions under the regional and national approaches/authorities. The pollution tax which could not be collected by the Patos municipality because of low capacity to organize the tenders to collecting the tax could be overcome by outsourcing this service or building own capacity. It was said that before they collected up to 280 000 EUR per year from Bankers.
Pamundësia e bashkisë për të vjelur taksat që i takojnë sipas ligjit
Activities of extracting industries are regulated through concessionary contracts (the parties being business and central government), prepared as per requirements of Law No. 125/2013 ‘on concessions and public-private partnership”. Municipalities appear among some articles of concessionary contracts, but their involvement depends on the good will of Central Government. The Article 26 of Law No. 139/2015 “On Local Self-government”, defines the role and functioning of municipalities; namely, environmental issues like ensuring at local government of measures to protect quality of air, land and water from pollution, ensuring at local level, of measures to protect from acoustic pollution, development of educational and promotional activities at local level related to environmental protection.
In such frame, local government can file civil complaints against businesses and also file criminal complaints; requests from central inspectorates to apply penalties in cases of evident environmental damages; prepares enactments of proving character for environmental damages which could be used both in administrative of judicial cases. As per Article 25, point C of Law No. 68/2017 “On finances of local self-government”, local government benefits from 55 of minerary rent. As per Secretariat of Initiative on Transparency of Extracting Industry (EITI), reported on 2014, local government hasn’t obtained any revenues from such minerary rent (report 2011). The Law 10304/2010 “On mining sector”, (Article 40), stipulates that local government provides opinions in writing on mining activities, but these comments are not mandatory. Municipality feels powerless in collecting the financial benefits coming from the industry using the local natural resources in their territory. They feel this challenge could be addressed politically.
Falsifikimi i dokumentacionit të kërkuar sipas ligjit për konsultimet publike
As regards the public consultation process, as per DCM No.247 date 30.04.2014, Municipalities are entitled to be informed, to partake in public consultations as well as to organize public consultations aiming at information of communities on consequences to environment of such investments. In the frame of legal provisions, during processes of public consultations, Municiplities can request inclusion of specific clauses in the concessionary contracts, to the benefit of Municipality and the community under its jurisdiction. However in the Municipalties of Patos, Marinez, such process organized by the public office of the Industry in the area lacks transparency and could be legally addressed and challenged as the documentation provided as evidence of such processes is problematic in terms of forging. Project can address this issue legally.