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China gets Afghan oilfield

Afghanistan signed a deal with China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) on Wednesday for the development of oil blocks in the Amu Darya basin, a project expected to earn the war-torn state billions of dollars over two decades.

world Updated: Dec 29, 2011 00:42 IST
Reuters

Afghanistan signed a deal with China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) on Wednesday for the development of oil blocks in the Amu Darya basin, a project expected to earn the war-torn state billions of dollars over two decades.

The deal covering drilling and a refinery in the northern provinces of Sar-e Pul and Faryab is the first international oil production agreement entered into by the Afghan government for several decades.

"In 30 days from now they (CNPC) will shift their experts and equipment to the site," mining minister Wahidullah Shahrani told a news conference on Wednesday.

"The practical work will start in October 2012."

The contract is valid for 25 years.

It marks the second major deal for China in Afghanistan after Metallurgical Corp of China signed a contract in 2008 to develop the huge Aynak copper mine south of Kabul, which is due to start producing by the end of 2014.

First Published: Dec 29, 2011 00:41 IST