Bloomberg reported that the Taliban-led government in Afghanistan signed its first international contract for oil extraction from the northern Amu Darya Basin. This agreement was signed with a subsidiary company of China National Petroleum Corporation.
The report stated that it was signed in Kabul by Wang Yu, China’s ambassador to Afghanistan, and Mullah Abdul Ghani, the Taliban’s deputy prime Minister for economic affairs.
Abdul Ghani baradar stated that the pact would “strengthen Afghanistan’s economy and increase its oil independence.” Wang Yu stated that the 25-year contract would support Afghanistan’s efforts to self-sufficiency.
Shahabuddin Delawar (acting minister of mines and petroleum), stated that Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum and Gas Co. would invest up to $150 million in its first year and $540 millions over the next three. This will be to explore five oil and natural gas blocks.
Taliban will receive 15% royalty fees. Daily oil production will begin at 200 tons, and slowly rise to 1,000 tons. The company will also construct Afghanistan’s first crude oil refinery. However, the contract could be terminated if the company fails to fulfill all its obligations within one year.
These are the Taliban’s efforts to get investments for Afghanistan’s economy, which almost collapsed after international assistance which was 40% of its gross domestic product was stopped following the 2021 withdrawal of US troops. Despite widespread international condemnation of its gender-based policies, the Taliban repeatedly requested international companies to invest.