Eight Companies to Bid for Oil, Gas Resources in Afghanistan
In addition to ExxonMobil, seven other energy firms have expressed interest to explore for oil and gas in the Afghan-Tajik Basin of northern Afghanistan.
The seven companies are Dubai-based Dragon Oil, Kuwait Energy, India's ONGC Videsh, Petra Energia of Brazil, Pakistan Petroleum, Thailand's PTT Exploration & Production (PTTEP) and Turkey's TPAO. ExxonMobil confirmed that its subsidiary Esso Exploration International unit had filed its notice of interest.
The ministry of mines said that the six blocks on offer are estimated to contain several hundred million barrels of oil equivalent. More than sixty geologic structures that may contain oil or gas have been identified in the six blocks through previous gravity and magnetic surveys, and twenty-five of them have been mapped using two-dimensional (2D) seismic data collection. The data will be made available to the eight bidders as part of the tender process.
The government also said that it plans several additional tenders for Afghanistan’s oil and gas resources in the next few years.
“The geology of northern Afghanistan is similar to the vast hydrocarbon reservoirs of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan across the northern border. However, other regions of Afghanistan are also believed to contain oil and gas potential as well,” the ministry said.
The tender process is expected to be completed with the award of contracts to the winning bidders in early 2013.