TIRANA, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Albanian government and the Royal Dutch Shell, an international leading hydrocarbon company, signed here on Tuesday an oil exploration deal which foresees major investments in Block 4 in southern Albanian mountain of Shpirag, Berat.
Under this deal, Shell plans investments worth 42.5 million euros in oil and gas explorations over the next seven years while the contract will have duration of 25 years.
The deal was signed by Albania's Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Damian Gjiknuri, and the general supervisor Shell Albania for Shell International Exploration and management, Jon-Henk van Konijnenburg who stressed importance of such development for Albania.
Speaking at a signing ceremony, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama noted that Albania offered resources, transparency and ensured justice between the government and foreign investors.
Rama noted that the presence of a multinational company like Shell in Albania was an additional reason for other international companies to see Albania as a country where everyone else could invest too.
The prime minister highlighted that planned investment were slated to have a major impact on the country's economy.
According to the prime minister, the company also has a social investment plan that includes investment in vocational education, health, road safety and supporting development of small businesses in the area.
The Royal Dutch Shell announced the commencement of the hydrocarbon explorations in Shpirag-4 oil well.
Preliminary data show that cost of new operation is estimated at around 72 million U.S. dollars, with drillings at a depth of over 6,101 meters.
Official statistics show that Albania has oil reserves of 220 million barrels and natural gas reserves of 5.7 billion cubic meters. (1 euro = 1.23 U.S. dollars)