September 7, 2012 / 2:20 PM / 6 years ago

Vetro Energy places top bid for Albpetrol

TIRANA (Reuters) - Vetro Energy, a U.S.-based consortium, has offered 850 million euros ($1.07 billion) for Albpetrol, more than double the value placed on the Albanian state-owned oil firm’s assets by advisers to the sale.

Vetro Energy’s bid, equivalent to 10 percent of the Balkan country’s gross domestic product (GDP), was one of five opened on Friday in front of an audience that included reporters, the bidding companies, and the state board reviewing the process.

Bidding through the Vetro Silk Road Equity Ltd consortium out of Singapore, Chicago-based Vetro Energy topped a 790 million euros offer from Amber Shine.

The buyer will win all Albpetrol’s above-ground assets and the right to explore and exploit oil and gas in Albanian territory for 25 years, the government has said.

To sweeten the deal, the government has also granted Albeptrol the right to build a refinery and licenses to transport and distribute natural gas.

Sokol Dervishaj, the deputy economy and energy minister and head of the sale board, said the bid documents would be examined. He did not give a date for the winner to be announced.

Bankers Petroleum of Canada BNK.TO, which has an output-sharing agreement with Albpetrol in the Patos-Marinza oilfield, offered 304 million euros, while Chinese consortium Win Business offered 298 million. JSC Gazprom Neft bid $52 million.

Seven of Albpetrol’s eight oilfields are run by foreign companies under output-sharing agreements. The eighth, at Amonica, is operated by Albpetrol.

Reporting By Benet Koleka; Editing by Dan Lalor

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