According to state-run media, Afghanistan’s Taliban-led government has begun collecting oil from wells in the country’s north.
“Priority will be given to the employment of technical and non-technical staff, as well as the reconstruction of the mine using Sar-e-Pul revenues,” Bakhtar News Agency reported acting Mines and Petroleum Minister Sheikh Shahabuddin Delawar as saying.
Delawar was speaking at a ceremony in Sar-e-Pul province, where he and many senior Taliban leaders were inaugurating wells in the Qashqari oilfield.
The Qashqari basin includes ten wells, with 200 tonnes of oil produced from nine, according to the Kabul Times, citing a statement from the Mines and Petroleum Ministry.
Officials plan to raise Qashqari extraction capacity to more over 1,000 tonnes.
Following their return to power in Kabul in 2021, the Taliban inked a deal with a Chinese corporation last year to extract oil from Sar-e-Pul.
In addition, the temporary Afghan Taliban administration inked a 25-year contract with a Chinese company in January to collect oil from the Amu River basin and develop an oil deposit in the north.
The Chinese corporation will invest $150 million in the first year, increasing to $540 million over the next three years, according to the pact.
According to the Bakhtar News Agency, Afghanistan is estimated to have undeveloped resources worth more than $1 trillion, which has piqued the curiosity of global investors.