Ministry Looks to Enforce Contract Signed With Chinese Firm for Amu River Oil Fields

AMU DARIA 06AUG

The Afghan Ministry of Mines & Petroleum (MoMP) on Thursday revealed findings indicating that the Chinese contractor given extraction rights for the Amu River oil basin has violated the terms of its contract with the Afghan government.

In the four years since its contract was signed, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has reportedly conducted improper extractions and not lived up to its agreement with the Afghan government to develop commercial and trade infrastructure around its extraction operation.

According to Afghan officials, an inter-ministerial commission’s investigation has revealed that CNPC owes the government 68 million USD for real estate that it has failed to develop. The company is now said to be running a 90 percent deficit for the project.

“We want to regain the contract for five oil fields in the Amu River oil basin,” MoMP spokesman Muhadiuddin Noori said. “Because the company has been able to move in line with the contract, the contractor has relied only on extraction.”

In addition to reneging on its commitments, CNPC has reportedly conducted unsanctioned extractions that have opened the door to embezzlement and corruption.

Independent analysts have emphasized the importance of better monitoring natural resource operations such as the Amu River oil basin. “Work has been done in the Amu River oil basin through corruption,” analyst Haseebullah Mauhid said on Thursday. “The government must investigate the root cause, because there has not been a monitoring process. If the government doesn’t show the capability to monitor the job, then corruption will increase.”

Since its contract was issued, CNPC has been able to extract some 626,706 barrels of crude oil from the Qashqari, Angot, Aq Darya, Bazar-e-Zakhmi and Zamrudd Sai wells along the Amur River basin.

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