The deal with Afghanistan is different from the Chinese intent
War-torn Afghanistan has a ray of hope with a Chinese deal to extract oil, but the direction shows a dismal picture since experts warn of China’s sketchy record.
Though cautious experts are also optimistic about the project which might succeed in bringing in jobs along with income to the war-torn nation, still the history of Chinese ‘jig-jag’ plans shows its unpredictability.
The first significant foreign investment for Afghanistan came from China when last month a Chinese firm signed a deal. The 25-year-long deal is originally a multimillion-dollar contract for extracting oil in the Afghani soil. Experts are a little unsure about China’s sketchy record on executing deals, still hoping optimistically that the project may prove a success for the country.
The Xinjiang Central Asia Petroleum and Gas Company (CAPEIC) of China is a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Petroleum Company (CNPC). It signed a contract with Talibans to extract oil from the Amu Darya basin. This basin stretches between Afghanistan and central Asian countries covering about 4.5 square kilometers.
The first year the deal will see an investment in Afghanistan of $150m which is going to be $540m over the next three years, as told by a Taliban spokesperson on Twitter.
Expecting “the daily rate of oil extraction from one thousand to twenty thousand tonnes,” spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid adds that the Taliban will be a twenty percent partner initially in the deal but later on they will be the 75 percent of the deal with China.
An industry expert, Abdul Jalil Jumrainy is one of the many who follow the development with a ray of hope. Jumrainy is also the former director general of the Afghan Petroleum Authority at the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining.
Jumrainy recalls, “It was a major victory for the Afghanistan government. The CNPC is a big Chinese company and currently China is the biggest buyer for oil and gas in the region.”