An An agreement on oil and gas extraction from the Afghan-Tajik basin in northeastern Afghanistan has been signed between the government of Afghanistan and three companies - the Turkish Petroleum International Company (TPIC), Drago Oil (UAE) and the Ghazanfar Group of Afghanistan. The companies are expected to invest $12 billion in the energy-starved country. A total of 20 firms submitted extraction bids for two fields while eight of them had experience in the field. The signing ceremony took place in Mazar-iSharif.
The oil and gas basin, located between Takhar and Jawzjan provinces, had been discovered in 1957. But the domestic situation in Afghanistan did not allow exploitation of the deposits. According to Jalil Ahmad, an official of the Ministry of Mining of Afghanistan, extraction from the two fields would begin in three to five years, with the firms expected to invest $12 billion over a period of 12 years.
The fields are estimated to contain 514 million barrels of oil and 91 billion cubic meters of natural gas. The oil and gas hauled up from the fields is to be used to meet domestic consumption before being exported, the official said. The project will initially create 1,000 jobs – a number that is expected to increase to 12,000 with time.