BEIJING (PAN): China has evinced a keen interest in extracting oil and gas from three Amu River field in northern Afghanistan, the presidential spokesman said on Friday.
Aimal Faizi told Pajhwok Afghan in Beijing that China had desired to extract oil and gas from the first, second and third field discovered in the north.
President Hamid Karzai, considering Beijing’s demand, would consult his aides on the issue, the spokesman said, adding the Afghan leader was due to meet the Chinese director-general of fuel in the afternoon.
Separately, Minister of Mines Wahidullah Shahrani is also holding wide-ranging talks with Chinese authorities on fuel extraction and investment in Afghanistan’s mining sector.
In late 2011, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) was awarded a contract for oil extraction -- a move expected to boost government revenue from natural resources and create thousands of jobs.
The state-owned CNPC subsequently signed an agreement with the Afghan government in December to extract crude oil from Amu River basin deposits.
Under the deal, the CNPC and its Afghan partner Watan Group are to explore oil in three fields -- Kashkari, Bazarkami and Zamarudsai -- in Sar-i-Pul and Faryab provinces.