In a landmark development, Afghanistan has started extracting gas from a newly discovered field in northern Jawzjan province, officials confirmed.
This is the first time in four decades that natural gas is being extracted in Afghanistan, acting Minister for Mines and Petroleum Enayatullah Momand told state broadcaster RTA.
“We are extracting 150,000 cubic meters of gas from a 1500-meter well at the field in Sheberghan city of Jawzjan,” he said.
Feroz Bashari, head of the government’s information center, told Anadolu Agency the excavation work was underway for a while before one of several deep wells proved viable.
“The government can earn up to $8.5 million per year from the extraction and distribution of this gas found in Jawzjan,” he said.
He said the development opens hundreds of employment opportunities, and will also ensure uninterrupted gas supply to Jawzjan and the neighboring Balkh provinces.
U.S. Geological Survey data values Afghanistan’s mineral resources at $908 billion, while the Afghan government’s estimate is $3 trillion.