Indian oil giant, India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd (ONGC Videsh), has been shortlisted to develop a six-block gas tender in the western half of the Afghan-Tajik basin.
The investment branch of the firm, which focuses on oil exploration outside India, is one of several selected by Afghanistan’s ministry of mines to potentially explore the sites.
The project is expected to earn Afghanistan billions of dollars in revenue. The blocks on offer have several hundred million barrels of oil resource potential, Afghanistan’s ministry of mines estimated.
Shortlisted firms must submit their bids by 31 October; the winning bidder for exploration of the oil tender is expected to be announced by early 2013.
Other shortlisted companies include Brazil’s Petra Energia SA and US’ Exxon Mobil, along with other majors in the sector currently procuring easier and less restricted access to the world’s energy resources.
Countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan have presented themselves as ideal destinations for many oil company as governments welcome foreign expertise and capital.
Last year, the mineral rich country inked an oil contract with China, after state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) won the bidding for the nation’s first oil well, located in the Amu Darya river basin, northern Afghanistan.