Oil’s Well that Ends Well: Albania’s property prospects soar amidst the black gold boom

Oil’s Well that Ends Well: Albania’s property prospects soar amidst the black gold boom

  • Albania’s oil industry growing amidst investment from industry giants
  • Excellent prospects for Albanian property market, with rental and sales of homes to oil workers
  • 5-star Lalzit Bay Resort and Spa offers high-end properties from as little as €35,000

When thinking of the world’s prevalent producers of crude oil, countries such as the US, Russia and Saudi Arabia may well spring to mind as standout players in a market worth billions of dollars. Yet there is one country, not necessarily synonymous with oil production but increasingly taking its place in a highly competitive market, which is progressively pushing itself to the fore – Albania.

Peer beneath the surface of this South-Eastern European country and it becomes clear that natural beauty is not the only resource that this Balkan gem is rich in. And this is not new news. The Romans began mining the plains of Albania for bitumen for their ships around 2,000 years ago and with the dawn of the 20th century came the more profitable infiltration by external companies, bringing with them increasingly mechanised production and generating impressive yields from this ‘black gold’.

Interest over the years in this field was felt from Italy, the then Soviet Union and China, reaching a peak of almost 43,000 barrels a day produced, totalling 2.2 million tonnes each year. However, Albanian oil production started to decline substantially with the 1990s fall of communism dissolving the once profitable industry.

This was until the last decade when companies from outside of Albania begun to show an interest in its natural resources. Canadian firm Bankers Petroleum’s investment from 2004 has made them a major player in Albania, home to the biggest European onshore oil field, currently producing 19,300 barrels a day.

Part of the wider region that encompasses Montenegro, Croatia and South-Western Greece, many are claiming that Albania is part of a ‘new oil frontier’ that, in recent years, has been party to exploratory and mining work from companies including Albpetrol and Stream Oil and Gas and also gaining interest from industry giants such as Shell, in partnership with Petromanas.

This growing success – and expanding reserves of the oil companies – not only has a knock-on effect for the Albanian economy, as well as strengthening the country politically, it also reverberates within other areas of Albania’s finances.

Peter Walshe, Marketing Director for Albania’s first high-end resort Lalzit Bay Resort and Spa explains,

“The relatively recent development of the oil industry in Albania is certainly putting the country on the map as a serious player in the European energy market and the effects of this positivity are also being felt within the prospects of the property market. At Lalzit Bay, we have already had enquiries from British, Canadian and Russian buyers who work for corporations that are investing in Albania and have subsequently sold properties to oil workers. I would say the oil effect is definitely beginning to rub off on the property market.”

Savvy investors are beginning to recognise the potential gains in the rental of homes to oil workers vacationing on the stunning Adriatic coast, with low investment levels and high returns on the cards, and the affluent workers themselves are also seeing the benefits of investing their hard-earned monies in a rising Albanian property market too.

There are some excellent – and affordable – developments in the offing in which to do this. One stand-out resort is Lalzit Bay Resort and Spa, situated 30 minutes from the capital Tirana’s airport, the development boasts a beautiful private sandy beach and a range of 5-star facilities, including a range of first-class restaurants and bars, boutique shops, swimming pool, tennis courts and a beach club.

Properties range from 1 or 2 bedroom apartments to 3 or 4 bedroom villas with optional private pools, inspired by California’s elegant and modern beachfront houses. All are built at low density and to the highest of standards. Prices start from €35,000 and range to €360,000.

For more information contact Lalzit Bay Resort and Spa on +44 845 125 8600 or visit www.lalzitbay.com