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    Afghanistan to become self-sufficient in fuel by 2015

    KABUL (PAN): Mines Minister Wahidullah Shahrani on Sunday said Afghanistan would not only become self-sufficient in fuel production, but would also export it to other countries by 2015.

    Currently Afghanistan imports three billion tonnes of fuel.

    Briefing reporters about a recently signed agreement with a Chinese firm on oil and gas extraction at the Amu Rive field in northern Sar-i-Pul province, the minister said it was a key step toward Afghanistan's self-sufficiency in oil and gas. The agreement with the Chinese company, CNCP, was signed on December 28.

    The Amu River field is estimated to have more than 87 million barrels of fuel reserves.

    Shahrani said international investors would be briefed on other fuel zones in the north in summer this year, when bids for the Tirpal fuel zone in western Herat province would be opened.

    "Practical work on these two zones will also be launched in next three years," he said, adding in the future, other already identified fuel reservoirs in Herat, Paktika and Helmand would be set for bidding.

    frm/ma



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