Exploration work on oil-gas field in Sar-i-Pul begins


SAR-I-PUL (PAN): A Chinese firm on Sunday launched exploration work on an oil and gas field at the Amu River’s basin in northern Sar-i-Pul province in presence of high-ranking Afghan officials.

Chinese state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) last year won a bid to develop the oil blocks.

First-Vice President Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim, ministers of interior, finance and mines, governors of Sar-i-Pul, Jawzjan and Faryab provinces and Chinese ambassador to Kabul attended the ceremony.

Mines Ministry Spokesman Jawad Omar said oil would be first extracted from wells in Angot and Qashqari areas.  He added 150,000 barrels of oil were expected to be extracted from the wells until the end of this year and the production would be increased to 300,000 barrels until 2013.  

He said the government would earn about $7 billion in revenue from the project over next 25 years and annual revenues would reach $400 million.

Speaking on the occasion, Fahim said the project would provide work opportunities for thousands of people, adding it was the responsibility of officials and people to ensure security for the project.

Finance Minister Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal said:" This is a big economic achievement for the government and a good message for foreign investors. ''

He added the inauguration of work on the oil field sent out a clear message to individuals trying to disrupt security that foreign companies would not bow to their tactics and would continue to invest in Afghanistan.

Chinese ambassador Xu-Feihon, said: "Today is an important day for Afghanistan's people because practical work on extraction oil has been formally launched.''

He said Afghanistan would soon be standing among oil producing nations and the project would further strengthen ties between the two countries.


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