Afghanistan to launch oil, gas licensing round in April

Afghanistan has announced the launch of a licensing round to award exploration and production-sharing contracts for three blocks bearing oil and gas in the north of the country.

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Mar. 19 -- Afghanistan has announced the launch of a licensing round to award exploration and production-sharing contracts for three blocks bearing oil and gas in the north of the country.

The three blocks on offer are Jangalikalan, with natural gas reserves pegged at 19 billion cu m (bcm), Juma-Bashikurd, with reserves of 33 bcm, and Kashkari, which holds Kaskhari, Angoat, and Aqdarya oil fields.

The Afghan ministry of mines said all three blocks hold known hydrocarbon-bearing accumulations in Cretaceous and Jurassic formations, which were discovered in the 1970s under a Soviet-led exploration program.

More recently, a US Geological Survey report has shown that the Central Asian nation may hold far higher amounts of minerals than previously thought, according to energy minister Mohammad Ibrahim Adel.

Based on the USGS survey, Mohammed said the northern area of Afghanistan is estimated to hold 600-700 bcm of gas and 25 million tonnes of oil in four basins.

A road show for the Afghan licensing round, to be led by Mohammed, will be launched in Kabul on Apr. 26, before it travels on to Dubai, London, Calgary, Houston, and Singapore.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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