Afghanistan: Exploration work starts at Afghan-Tajik oil zone


KABUL (TCA) — Afghanistan’s Ministry of Mines and Petroleum on February 27 said that work has started on exploration in two blocks of Afghan-Tajik oil zone and the process will be completed in two years, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported.

At least $60 million will be invested by the consortium of the contractors for this project, said the ministry.

“Practical works have started, transfer of machinery has started. We will soon witness seismic and exploration surveys on the project,” said Abdul Qadeer Mutfi, the ministry’s spokesman.

The Afghan-Tajik oil zone contract was amended six months ago.

The project was handed over to contractors in 2012. But the contractors later asked for amendment of the contract in the wake of reduction of oil prices in world markets.

Meanwhile, officials from the Natural Resources Monitoring Network (NRMN) said that lack of analytical research on Afghanistan’s natural resources has increased pre-exploration expenditures.

The Afghan-Tajik oil zone is one of the biggest oil sources in Afghanistan. Preliminary surveys show that more than 1.5 million barrels of oil are available in this mine which costs nearly $100 billion.

According to studies conducted by major international companies, besides the Afghan-Tajik oil zone, there are other oil zones in Afghanistan such as Amu Darya, Kashka, Katawaz, Helmand and Herat oil zones.

Ghazanfar Group, Turkish Petroleum and UAE-based Dragon Oil LLC are conducting the exploration.

Sergey Kwan