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Major oil extraction project stopped in northern Afghanistan

By Ghanizada - Mon Aug 19 2013, 1:25 pm

Afghanistan oil production project haltedAccording to reports, a major oil extraction project has beenn halted and most Chinese staff have left less than a year after production started due to the lack of transit agreeement.

The contract was awarded by Afghan government to China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) International and its Afghan partner, Watan Oil and Gas, began producing oil in the Amu Darya basin in the north in October.

An employee of the project quoted by Reuters said, equipment at the site had now been locked up and about 16 Chinese workers had left.

In the meantime, Jalil Jumriany, policy director at the Ministry of Mines in Kabul told Reuters that the removal of staff was only a temporary measure to save money.

Mr. Jumriany further added that an agreement to refine the oil over the border in Uzbekistan was being negotiated. “We are waiting for a transit agreement with the Uzbek government,” he said.

He also added that a team would travel to meet the Uzbeks next week and was hopeful a deal could be reached.

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