Taliban began exploiting the first oil well in northern Afghanistan with the help of China
Taliban has started oil exploitation in northern Afghanistan with the help of a Chinese company. The Minister of Mines of the Taliban says that in the near future, 100 tons of oil will be extracted from the oil wells in Sarpul daily, which will generate millions of dollars in income for the Taliban government.
The Taliban state oil and gas company and the Chinese contracting company “Afchin” are jointly extracting crude oil in this area.
Shahabuddin Delawar, Minister of Mines, together with the officials of a Chinese company inaugurating this project, told the state television that oil extraction from well No. 21 “Qashgari” in Sarpul province will soon reach about 100 tons (about 744 barrels) per day.
He added that 15 other wells in this area will be “repaired and drilled” by the end of 2023, with a daily capacity of more than 1,000 tons of crude oil, and he invited investors to participate in this project.
The Minister of Mines of the Taliban promised that priority will be given to the employment of Sarpol youth in the oil project and added that this project is 25 years old and other facilities will be built in this place, including an asphalt road and electricity.
Sarpul is one of the “3rd degree” deprived provinces in Afghanistan.
Earlier this year, the Taliban government signed a 25-year contract for oil extraction in the north of the country with a Chinese company called “Central Asia Oil and Gas Company in Xinjiang” (CPEIC), based on which the Taliban will initially have a “20% share”. and this share will increase to 75% in the future.
According to Taliban officials, according to the contract, the Chinese company will invest 150 million dollars in the first year to extract oil in this area, and this amount will increase to 540 million dollars in three years.
Oil reserves have been identified in five regions of northern Afghanistan, the area of which reaches 4500 square kilometers, one of these regions is Qashgari, the reserves of these oil regions are estimated at 78 million tons.
The Taliban Minister of Mines said about this new Qashgari well that 70 tons of crude oil can be extracted from it within 24 hours, and this amount will reach 100 tons in the future.
Afghanistan has vast natural resources, including various mines and oil and gas, the value of which is estimated up to 3 trillion dollars, but due to the wars of the past four decades, it has not been possible to exploit them.
In the past years, companies from different countries have shown interest in investing, but apparently security concerns have been the main obstacle to investment.
Chinese state-owned companies are the biggest investors in Afghanistan’s viceroyalty, which, in addition to copper and energy, are seeking access to lithium and copper reserves in Afghanistan.
Recently, the officials of a Chinese company called “Fan China Afghan” also expressed interest in investing 350 million dollars in electricity production, construction of cement factory and health sector in Afghanistan in the next few months.
Habib Shapour, the representative of this company in Afghanistan, has discussed this issue in a meeting with Abdul Kabir, the acting prime minister of the Taliban.
The Taliban government is trying to increase its domestic revenue by extracting Afghanistan’s mines.
The joint estimate of the former government of Afghanistan and the United States in 2019 said that the country has about 1.6 billion barrels of crude oil worth about 107 billion dollars, 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and another 500 million barrels of natural gas condensate.
Shaberghan-Mazar-e-Sharif gas pipeline project
The Taliban Minister of Mines also inaugurated the project of extending the gas pipeline from Shaberghan to Mazar-i-Sharif.
This 95 km long gas transmission pipeline will be completed in the next three years from Khaja Gardak Balkh area of Jawzjan Province to Fertilizer and Electricity Factory.
The Taliban government says that this project costs 609 million Afghanis, which is financed from the government budget.
According to the deputy Taliban ministry, this gas will first be used in the fertilizer and electricity industries, glass making and electricity production of Ghazanfar company, and in the second stage it will be distributed to residential houses.
This pipeline has the capacity to transfer 170,000 cubic meters of gas with a pressure of 50 atmospheres in 24 hours.