Afghanistan Signs Major Oil Deal With China

The Afghan government has signed a deal with a Chinese company for the development of oil deposits, a project expected to earn Kabul billions of dollars over two decades.

The Afghan government has signed a deal with a Chinese company for the development of oil deposits, a project expected to earn Kabul billions of dollars over two decades.

The deal with China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) -- covering drilling and a refinery in the northern provinces of Sar-e Pul and Faryab -- is Kabul's first international oil-production agreement in several decades.

Afghan Mines Minister Wahidullah Shahrani told a news conference that CNPC would bring their experts and equipment to the site in a month's time, with the practical work to begin in October 2012.

He said the contract was valid for 25 years. "We estimate that within 23 years, the revenue for Afghanistan will be $7 billion," he added.

It's the second major deal for China in Afghanistan after Metallurgical Corp of China signed a contract in 2008 to develop the huge Aynak copper mine south of Kabul, which is due to start producing by the end of 2014.

compiled from agency reports


Copyright (c) RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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