Audit finds in favour of Bankers Petroleum in tax dispute with Albanian government
Canada-based Bankers Petroleum said on August 29 it has finally resolved a tax dispute with the Albanian government and it will be reimbursed for “excessive payments” made to the Albanian tax authorities. The binding third-party audit report on the 2011 tax dispute said that Bankers “correctly stated its 2011 expenses as cost recoverable”, Bankers said in a statement.
In February Bankers, which is mainly active in Albania, suspended its arbitration procedure against Tirana after reaching an agreement with the country’s energy ministry on the appointment of an international expert audit team to resolve the $75mn tax dispute. China’s Geo-Jade Petroleum Corporation is in the process of acquiring Bankers in a deal due to close at the end of September.
The third-party audit was conducted by a joint panel of individuals from PricewaterhouseCoopers and Navigant Consulting Company. Its decision is a final resolution, as previously agreed to by the Albanian National Agency for Natural Resources (AKBN), the ministry of energy and industry and Bankers.
The audit obliges the Albanian tax authority to recalculate Bankers’ tax obligations for 2011 and determine the appropriate mechanism to settle or reimburse Bankers for the payments made to date, said the statement.
Bankers said it had paid a total of $37mn to the Albania tax authorities as deposits for the 2011 profit tax assessment as of June 30.
Bankers operates the Patos-Marinza oilfield and has a 100% interest in both the Kucova oilfield and in Exploration Block F in Albania.