Afghanistan starts commercial production of crude oil soon
By Meena Haseeb - Thu Mar 21 2013, 7:46 am
According to the ministry of mines of Afghanistan, China’s largest oil company — China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) is due to start commercial production of crude oil in Afghanistan shortly, heralding a resource boom that could transform the country’s economy over the next decade.
Afghan mines minister Wahidullah Shahrani quoted by The Wall Street Journal said, extraction of metals and oil could account for 45% of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product by 2024.
Wahidullah Shahrani on Wednesday met with the potential investors during a conference on the margins of the mines and money.
He said, “The wells are ready for production. If we complete negotiations with our northern neighbor in the next two to three weeks, then production of the crude will begin with an initial 5,000 barrels a day.”
Mr. Shahrani did not disclose further informaiton to identify which of the three northern border countries—Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan or Tajikistan is involved.
He said, The geological structures there are very promising based on seismic surveys.” The exploration and test drilling will take several years, Mr. Shahrani added.
Afghanistan’s first oil refinery is due to be completed in two to three years and Afghanistan’s oil output will continue to rise that could feed a 44,000 barrel a day into the refinery.
Fuel is the main single import item of Afghanistan currently which mainly comes from Central Asia.