Russian energy companies will help Afghanistan’s oil and gas industries destroyed during the war. They tend to get government contracts and save set contacts. State-owned oil company Rosneft, gas trader Itera and Afghanistan’s ministry of mining and industry signed in Kabul a protocol of intentions, under which Russian specialists are to offer necessary help to Afghanistan’s industry.
Rosneft may be offered the chance to participate in tenders for oil production licenses alongside other energy companies.Afghanistan’s oil and gas deposits were developed with help of the Soviet experts. Rosneft values already-discovered hydrocarbon reserves at $22 billion.During the 1980s, 90 percent of Afghanistan's natural gas was pumped through the Soviet Union's pipeline system. Neither gas nor oil has been exported in the last eight years.The first idea to ask Russia for support already appeared when the US-army forced Talibans.
The most prominent of these projects is a plan for a $2 billion gas pipeline, which was originally proposed by Unocal in the 1990s but later abandoned due to fierce fighting between the Taliban and the opposition Northern Alliance.
Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has been the main driving force behind the revival of the pipeline, which would stretch 1,400 kilometers from the Daulatabad reservoirs to Multan in Pakistan. With only an outlet to the landlocked Caspian, Turkmenistan is forced to transport its gas through Russia.
A pipeline through Afghanistan could change all that. Turkmenistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan earlier this year chose the Asian Development Bank to be the lead financier for the project.