Uzbekistan eyes resuming oil and gas exploration in Afghanistan
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.26
By Nigar Guliyeva – Trend:
Uzbekistan is considering the possibility of resuming geological exploration to search for oil and gas in Afghanistan, RIA Novosti reported referring to a representative of the Foreign Trade Relations Ministry of Uzbekistan.
The issue was discussed during talks held with the Afghan President special envoy to the CIS countries, Shakir Kargar, at the Ministry last week
"We discussed the possibility of joint projects to resume geological exploration of promising hydrocarbon deposits in northern Afghanistan," the source said, without specifying the details of the talks.
Previously, the ministry reported that the parties also exchanged views on accelerating the implementation of strategically important infrastructure projects - the construction of the Mazar-e Sharif-Herat railway and the Surkhan-Puli-Khumri power transmission line.
Earlier, the chairman of the board of JSC Uzbekneftegaz Alisher Sultanov informed that the company will study the possibility of participation in the construction of the gas pipeline "Turkmenistan - Afghanistan - Pakistan - India" (TAPI).
In 2006, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Afghanistan Geological Survey (AGS) jointly assessed the oil and gas resources in northern , Western and Southern Afghanistan. The estimated mean volumes of unexploited petroleum in the. Northern assessment area were 1.6 billion barrels of crude oil, 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 0.50 billion of natural gas liquids, (USGS FS-3031, 2006).
Most of the unexploited crude oil occurs in the Afghan-Tajik basin and most of the unexploited natural gas is located in the Amu Darya basin.
Afghanistan enjoys reserves of copper, gold, iron ore, chrome, natural gas, oil, as well as precious and semiprecious stones. Because of decades of wars and instability, very small part of these deposits have been developed.