Bloomberg reported that the Taliban-led administration in Afghanistan has signed its first international agreement to extract oil from northern Amu Darya. The agreement was signed by a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation.

According to the report, it was signed in Kabul with Wang Yu, China’s ambassador, and Mullah Abdul-Ghani Baradar the Taliban’s deputy prime minster for economic affairs.

Abdul GhaniBaradar stated that the agreement will “strengthen Afghanistan’s economic and increase its level oil independence.” Wang Yu claimed that Afghanistan will be able to achieve self-sufficiency through the 25-year-old contract.

Shahabuddin Delawar – acting minister of petroleum – stated that Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum and Gas Co. will spend as much as $150million in the first year and $540million over the next three to explore five blocks.

Taliban will be paid 15% royalties and daily oil production will rise gradually to 1,000 tonnes. The company will also create Afghanistan’s first oil refinery. If it fails to meet its contract obligations within a year, the contract will be terminated.

As the Taliban look for investments to rebuild Afghanistan’s economy after the collapse of international aid, which had accounted for 40% in the country’s gross domestic products, the US troop withdrawal in 2021 has halted that aid. Even though the Taliban have repeatedly asked for international companies to invest, despite widespread international condemnation over its ban on women getting education and employment,

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