Malta grants offshore exploration license to British oil company

The Maltese arm of a Jersey-based oil and gas drilling company has been granted an exploration license to drill in two maritime zones off southeast Malta, the country’s government said on Wednesday.

The license grants Albion Energy Malta Ltd. permission to explore an area of around 18,000 square km over two years.

The license may be extended by a further two years subject to an additional work program.

The Finance Ministry said in a statement that the license binds the company to carry out geological and geophysical studies on existing data.

The ministry said that Albion Energy Malta Ltd. is owned by Albion Energy Limited, a large oil and gas producer.

Malta’s central location in the Mediterranean and its proximity to proven hydrocarbon reserves with operating offshore oil and gas fields near Sicily, Libya and Tunisia make its offshore acreage attractive for petroleum exploration. Hydrocarbons have been produced for several decades in areas adjacent to Malta, according to a government website.

Malta’s offshore acreage is divided into seven exploration and production-designated areas covering over 75,000 square km. ■

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