The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Afghanistan; rich in oil & gas resources

Afghanistan offers untapped investment potential in its oneof- a-kind natural resource known for quality, abundance and purity. Afghanistan has over 1,400 identified mineral deposits related to oil, gas, coal, gold, iron and copper. Shaikh al-Hadith Shahabuddin Delawar, the Minister of Mines and Petroleum, in a meeting with officials of a Chinese company, has said that Afghanistan has rich oil and gas resources and his ministry will soon launch the bidding process to extract some of the country’s oil and natural gas. Delawar added that those interested could legally participate in the tender process through the ministry of mines and petroleum. The Chinese visitors in their meeting with the country’s minister of mines and petroleum have discussed opportunities available to invest in Afghanistan’s mineral resources, especially in the oil and gas extraction sector. Previously, the Islamic Emirate had signed a contract with a Chinese company to extract oil from the Amu Darya basin and develop an oil reserve in the country’s northern Sar-e-Pul province. The contract had been signed early this current year by the acting minister of mines and petroleum and an official of Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum and Gas Co (CAPEIC) in Kabul. It was the first major public commodities extraction deal the Islamic Emirate has signed with a foreign company since the IEA takeover in mid-August 2021. Based on the contract, the Chinese company will be extracting oil from an area covering 4,500 square kilometers (1,737 square miles) collectively in the northern Sar-e Pul, Jawzjan, and Faryab provinces. Based on information of the Islamic Emirate, the Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum and Gas Co (CAPEIC) will invest $150m a year in Afghanistan under the contract. The company’s investment will increase to $540m in three years for the 25-year contract. Afghanistan will have a 20 percent partnership in the project, which can be increased to 75 percent. A Chinese state-owned company is also in talks with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) over the operation of a copper mine in eastern Logar province, another deal that was first signed under the previous government. Afghanistan is estimated to be sitting on untapped resources of more than $1 trillion, which have attracted the interest of some foreign investors, though decades of turmoil have prevented any significant exploitation. Besides, Afghanistan is also home to abundant deposits of precious and semi-precious stones mainly emerald, jade, amethyst, alabaster, beryl, lapis lazuli, tourmaline, ruby, quartz, and sapphire. Afghanistan also offers great opportunities for investments in the hydrocarbons industry. Samiullah Momand

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.