International Energy Companies Sign Historic Contract for Afghan-Tajik Oil and Gas Resources

Tuesday, October 8, 2013   Contact:  Mohammad Rafiq Sediqi
    +93(0)786 737303


Afghan Government Hails Contract as ‘Wave of the Future’

Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan – Today, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Mines & Petroleum turned aspiration into reality with the signing of a multi-year oil exploration and production contract with an international consortium of energy companies for two blocks of the Afghan-Tajik oil and gas basin in northern Afghanistan.  The contracts were awarded following an intensive open and transparent bid selection process reviewed by six Cabinet ministries and independent legal and transparency experts.  The contract signing is a result of last month’s overwhelming approval of the oil and gas deal by His Excellency, President Hamid Karzai’s Council of Ministries.

The international consortium includes Dragon Oil from the UAE, the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) and the Ghazanfar Group from Afghanistan.  All three companies complied with the Ministry of Mines & Petroleum’s bidding structure which required open and transparent contract bidding procedures overseen by independent monitoring from outside firms.

“Today’s contract signing is another example of the strong and growing interest the international community has in the hydrocarbon and mineral resources of our nation,” stated Director General Jalil Jumriany, head of the Afghanistan Petroleum Authority within the Ministry of Mines & Petroleum.  “Our nation and the Afghan people will benefit from the exploration and production of the Afghan-Tajik basin and this project will enhance our economic vitality for years to come, “ Director General Jumriany continued.  “This contract is just one element in the wave of the future for our country and its citizens.  The winning bidders engaged in a open and fully transparent process from beginning to end,” he concluded.

The two blocks under contract are in the western portion of the Afghan-Tajik Basin and are believed to contain significant accumulations of both oil and gas. The western portion of the Afghan-Tajik Basin is located in the northern section of Afghanistan between the provinces of  Jowzjan and Kunduz.  The region is believed to contain significant accumulations of oil and gas in 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 Paleogene, Cretaceous, and Jurassic horizons.

The bids were reviewed by the Inter-Ministerial Commission (IMC), a committee made up of members from government Ministries, which conducted an evaluation process that focused on the technical merits of the bids.   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 managed by the Ministry of Mines & Petroleum.

Today’s contract signing ceremony was attended local government officials and Governor Atta Muhammad Nur, Governor of Balkh province.  Governor Atta, a strong supporter of hydrocarbon exploration in the region, stated, “the economy of the province will greatly benefit from the oil and gas industry’s work in the Afghan-Tajik Basin.  We welcome further global interest in Balkh Province and will assist the Ministry as we grow the hydrocarbon and mineral resources in Afghanistan.”


The Afghanistan Ministry of Mines & Petroleum has a mandate to unlock Afghanistan’s mineral and hydrocarbon wealth in an efficient and transparent manner that benefits all of the people of Afghanistan.  Afghanistan welcomes the responsible participation of the private sector in the development of its extractive industry as set out in the Constitution of Afghanistan and the National Excellence Extractive Industries Program (NEEIP).  For more information go to: