UPDATE 1-Albania to rewrite oil contract with Bankers Petroleum after tax tiff

Wed Jan 20, 2016 4:02pm EST
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* Albania says to renegotiate contracts with oil companies

* Wants to impose limit on cost recovery

* Companies only pay 50 pct profit tax after covering costs

* Albania in continuing tax dispute with Bankers Petroleum (Adds comment from Bankers Petroleum)

By Benet Koleka

TIRANA, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Albania will renegotiate its oil output-sharing contracts with Bankers Petroleum and other oil companies and impose a limit on expenses that can be used to offset their tax liability, Energy Minister Damian Gjiknuri said on Wednesday.

The Balkan state has accused corporations of understating profits made in the country to avoid its 50 percent profit tax. The dispute stems from a clause in the contracts that allows the companies' operating costs to be set against the tax.

Gjiknuri said that Albania has not been paid any profit tax by the companies, only royalties.

Canadian firm Bankers Petroleum agreed to pay $57 million in instalments -- covering what Albania said was owed for 2011 -- so it could gain control of its Albanian bank accounts while it seeks a final solution through a third-party auditor or the courts.   Continued...