First Afghan Hydrocarbon Bidding Round 2009
On 17 March 2009, the Ministry of Mines, on behalf of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, launched the First Afghan Hydrocarbon Bidding Round 2009 to initiate hydrocarbon exploration in Northern Afghanistan.
Northern Afghanistan has been divided into 11 blocks, of which three were offered in this licensing round. The three blocks are Jangalikalan, Juma-Bashikurd and Kashkari; all of which have known hydrocarbon-bearing accumulations. Most of the fields in these blocks were discovered by the Soviets in the 1970s excluding the Angoat oil field, which was discovered in 1959. Except for the Angoat and Kashkari fields, the rest of the fields in the blocks on offer (Jangalikalan, Juma and Bashikurd gas fields and Aqdarya oil field) have yet to commence production. The Angoat field is the only oil field currently on production, though the Kashkari field produced briefly in the 1980s.
Roadshows for the bidding round will be held in Kabul, followed by Dubai (26 April), London (28 April), Calgary (5 May), Houston (7 May) and Singapore (15 May). A data package for the blocks will be available from 16 May 2009.
Companies are required to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to pre-qualify to participate in the bidding round, by 15June 2009. Besides being eligible and qualified as per Articles 30 and 31 of the Hydrocarbons Law, bidders are required to have a market capitalization of at least USD 100 million for Kashkari block, USD 150 million for Juma-Bashikurd, Jangalikalan blocks and USD 200 million for all three blocks. Additionally, applicants must have experience in production of sour gas in order to bid for the Juma-Bashikurd and Jangalikalan blocks. Successful pre-qualification applicants will be announced on 1 July 2009.
Pre-qualified bidders have to submit their bids by 15 September 2009. The result of the bidding round is expected to be announced by 5 October 2009 with the Exploration and Production Sharing Contracts (EPSC) signed no later than 5 December 2009. Details of the round are available from the Ministry of Mines (www.mom.gov.af) or the First Afghan Hydrocarbon Bidding Round website ( www.afghanistanpetroleum.com).
|First Afghan Hydrocarbon Bidding Round 2009|
|Jangalikalan||Amu Dar'ya||Jangalikalan gas field|
|Juma-Bashikurd||Amu Dar'ya||Jumar, Bashikurd gas fields|
|Kashkari||Amu Dar'ya||Angoat, Aq Darya, Kashkari oil fields|
Map: Blocks on offer in the First Afghan Bidding Round 2009 (blue outline). Source: PetroView®
The geology of Afghanistan is structurally complicated, consisting essentially of a succession of narrow northeast-trending terrains of continental fragments of Paleozoic to Tertiary age. The four principal areas in Afghanistan where thick sedimentary rocks are present are; North Afghan Basin, Amu Dar'ya Basin and Afghan-Tajik Basins in the north, Helmand Basin in south-west, Katawaz area in the south-east and Heart Basin in the west. Most of the discoveries are located in the Amu Dar'ya Basin in the northern part of Afghanistan. The Amu Dar'ya Basin extends northwestward into Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, forming the successful Amu Dar'ya gas-oil province.
Oil and gas exploration commenced in Afghanistan in 1956 and the first oil field, Angoat, was discovered in 1959. Subsequently, the Yatimtaq gas field was discovered in 1960 followed by the Khwaja Gogerdaq gas field in 1961 and Khwaja Bulan gas field in 1964. Despite the concentration of exploration activity in the Amu Dar'ya Basin, the portion of the basin in Afghanistan is relatively under-explored when compared to the Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan counterparts.
One of the primary objectives of the Government in launching the bidding round is to commence production and processing of the identified gas reserves to meet current and future demands for energy and related products and activities. Early production of oil is also a priority and oil companies are recommended to gauge the hydrocarbon potential both inside and outside of the known hydrocarbons accumulations on each block on offer.
Source: Website of First Afghan Hydrocarbon Bidding Round 2009 www.afghanistanpetroleum.com
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