CAO Cases

Arne Hoel, The World Bank

Europe & Central Asia

Albania / Bankers Petroleum-01/Patos

Complainant
Local community
Date Filed
March 13, 2013
Concerns
Health impacts, impacts to local infrastructure & environmental impact to water sources
Case Status
Open - Ombudsman
 

Synopsis

Complaint

Bankers Petroleum Ltd (Bankers) is a Canadian based oil and gas company exclusively focused on oil exploration and production in Albania.  According to IFC, the company’s primary asset is the Patos Marinza heavy oilfield, in which it holds a 100% interest and right to full operatorship as it gradually takes over the field from Albpetrol, the Albanian national oil company. Bankers’ aim is to increase oil recovery rates and production of Patos Marinza. The company also holds 100% interest in a nearby oilfield, Kucova.  IFC’s investment in the project entails a US$55 million A loan and $10 million in equity to help finance development of the company’s Albanian assets.

 

In March 2013, CAO received a complaint from a local environmental leader on behalf of a community residing in the vicinity of the Patos Marinza oilfield.  The complainant, who was supported by residents of the community, claim the company’s operations have caused negative health impacts, accidents, contamination of irrigation networks, and seismic temblors that have damaged homes and buildings. Broadly, the complainants are concerned about the impact of oil and gas development in their area and potential risks and damages to communities and the environment. 

 

CAO Action 

CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in March 2013, and concluded the assessment in August 2013. Based on stakeholder discussions and outcomes of the assessment, the parties agreed to engage in dialogue with one another, and to explore options for a joint fact-finding process managed through CAO's dispute resolution function.  

 

In December 2014, company and community representatives launched a formal “Dialogue Roundtable” process, facilitated by the CAO team. At that meeting, the stakeholders agreed on their dialogue goals, ground rules, and an overall work plan which involves an earthquake working group, an environment working group, and a social investment working group.  The working groups are comprised of community and company representatives who meet monthly to discuss issues and develop action plans. At bi-monthly meetings of the full Dialogue Roundtable group, participants share progress from their working groups and discuss challenges, opportunities and next steps.  

 

A CAO Dispute Resolution team has been working closely with the parties to identify representatives and interests of the communities impacted by the company’s operations; build capacity of the parties to negotiate effectively; design an appropriate and engagement process; resolve key issues between the company and the Government of Albania; and strengthen trust and cooperation between and among stakeholders. 

 

On October 4, 2017, the Earthquake and Environmental working group of the CAO facilitated Dialogue Roundtable agreed on a way forward regarding the issue of identification of the causes of the seismic tremors in the Patos-Marinza area: the agreement consisted in jointly drafting a letter to the Government to request, among other things, receipt of information regarding the status of the inter-governmental process to investigate the causes of seismic tremors in the Patos-Marinza area as well as the opinion of the Institute of Geosciences, Energy, Water and Environment on the study conducted by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki at Bankers Petroleum’s request. As a result, the parties have agreed that the dialogue process on this issue will be suspended until the working group receives a reply to this letter.  A copy of the letter and the summary report of the October 4 meeting of the Earthquake and Environmental working group is available below (in Albanian and English). A summary report of the latest meeting of the Social and Investment working group is also available below (in Albanian and English). 

 

Status

CAO's Dispute Resolution process is ongoing. The parties have agreed that the dialogue process on the issue of identifying the causes of the seismic tremors will be suspended until the working group receives an answer to the joint letter sent to the Government. 


Status as of November 15, 2017

Project information

Institution
IFC
Project Name & Number
Bankers Petroleum 27306
Department
Oil, Gas, Mining, & Chemicals
Company
Bankers
Sector
Oil and Gas
Region
Europe & Central Asia
Country
Albania
Environmental Category
B
Commitment
Up to US$55 m A loan & $10 m equity

Case Tracker

Ombudsman

  • Eligible: Completed
  • Assessment Period: Completed
  • Facilitating Settlement: In Process

Compliance