Afghanistan’s Ministry of Mines & Petroleum released a tender Monday for exploration and production on a 7,131 sq km block of the Amu-Darya basin.

Estimated reserves for the entire country are estimated at about $1 trillion — with 1.6 billion barrels of crude oil, 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 500m barrels of natural gas liquids, according to the  US Geological Survey and its Afghan counterpart, the Telegraph said.

The Amu Darya basin is believed to hold most of the natural gas reserves, with most of the crude in the Afghan-Tajik region.

Expressions of interest are due by January 8.

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and local partner Watan Energy are already working on two blocks in the Amu Darya basin.

They suspended work last year after CNPC engineers were attacked by local militia forces, the Telegraph said.

And two months ago drilling again stopped because of a transportation dispute about crude slated to be shipped to Uzbekistan and trucked to China.

Awards about a year ago on six blocks in Afghan-Tajik to Dragon Oil, Kuwait Energy and Turkiye Petrolleri were signed this week.

Ministry officials said the firms will invest $12 billion.

Extraction is planned to start in three to five years.


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