Global Firms Seek Afghan Oil & Gas Resources
Publish Date: Nov 12, 2012
Three international firms join Afghan partner for tender blocks
Kabul, Afghanistan – Today, the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan accepted a bid from global oil and gas exploration firms to contract for blocks in the western portion of the Afghan-Tajik Basin in northern Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Ministry of Mines, the government agency overseeing the energy tender offering process, accepted the bid in a public ceremony at the Ministry’s offices in Kabul. The bid will be evaluated in a transparent review process to begin immediately.
Today’s bid to explore the Afghan-Tajik Basin and the strong response to the tender announcement earlier this year signifies a profound interest from the international community to join with the people of Afghanistan to build a sound and growing economy,” stated H.E. Wahidullah Shahrani, Minister of Mines. “This interest is a result of a comprehensive oil and gas development strategy initiated by our Government that will include tenders for other exploration blocks throughout Afghanistan,” Minister Shahrani continued.
The three firms vying for the Afghan-Tajik blocks are Dragon Oil, Kuwait Energy, and TPAO. The Ghazanfar Group, a local Afghanistan partner, was also part of the bid submission.
Under the Hydrocarbons Law of Afghanistan, the awarding of Exploration and Production Sharing contracts is subject to completion of a public, transparent, and competitive tender and evaluation process to be managed by the Ministry of Mines. The blocks in a tender may be awarded to a single bidder or multiple bidders.
The bid will be reviewed by the Inter-Ministerial Council (IMC), which will conduct an evaluation process focusing on the technical merits of the bid and determine its overall value. An international evaluation observer team will participate in all aspects of the bid acceptance, evaluation, selection, and contract award phases of the tender awards. Following the review and evaluation of the consortium’s submission, the Ministry of Mines plans to award Exploration and Production Sharing Contracts by the end of the first quarter of 2013.
The Afghan-Tajik basin is located in the northern section of Afghanistan between the cities of Mazar-i--Sharif and Kunduz. (See attached map.) The bids received are for the following six blocks: Ahmadabad (1855km2), Balkh (1861km2), Mazar–e-Sharif (2715km2), Mohammed Jan Dagar (3603km2), Sanduqli (2583km2), and Shamar (2143km2). All six blocks have known hydrocarbon-bearing accumulations.
The region is believed to contain significant accumulations of oil and gas in both the Cretaceous and Jurassic horizons, as well as a strong potential for pre-salt hydrocarbon deposits. Afghanistan’s northern neighbors have identified significant deposits of oil and gas, with Turkmenistan reportedly having the world’s second-largest natural gas reserves and deposits in both horizons. In Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, exploration wells have discovered commercial quantities of hydrocarbons in the Paleogen, Cretaceous, and Jurassic horizons.
While there has been very little oil and gas exploration in northern Afghanistan over the past few decades due to the country’s conflicts, data from older German, Soviet, and American surveys identified more than sixty prospective geologically significant structures in the western Afghan-Tajik Basin. A two-dimension (2D) seismic survey recently conducted by the Ministry of Mines appears to confirm the potential of the Afghan-Tajik Basin.
The Afghanistan Ministry of Mines has a mandate to unlock Afghanistan’s mineral and hydrocarbon wealth in an efficient and transparent manner that benefits all of the Afghan people. Afghanistan welcomes the responsible participation of the private sector in the development of its industry and natural resources as set out in the Constitution of Afghanistan and the Afghan National Development Strategy.
For more information go to: www.mom.gov.af