July 23, 2015 / 11:36 AM / 4 years ago

Shell bids to drill two Albanian onshore blocks

Shell's company logo is pictured at a gas station in Zurich April 8, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

TIRANA (Reuters) - A venture between Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) and Canada’s Petromanas PMI.V has applied to drill two onshore blocks in central Albania close to another promising well they are drilling further south, an official told Reuters on Thursday.

The official said three bids had been submitted for the blocks - from Shell Upstream Albania B.V with Petromanas Albania GmbH, Israel’s Delek Group Limited (DLEKG.TA) and Interland Investments SA.

The National Resources Agency has forwarded the bids to the Energy Ministry, which will pick a winner and instruct the agency to start negotiations.

Shell’s bid signals renewed interest in Albania, a NATO nation seeking to join the European Union, after many oil majors failed to strike oil there in the decade after it toppled communism in 1990.

The Shell-Petromanas venture in Albania is now drilling two wells to size up the output potential after very promising initial results at their Shpirag well, half a mile from the spot where Occidental found very little oil in 2001 and quit.

Reporting by Benet Koleka; editing by Zoran Radosavljevic and Jason Neely

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