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Open-File Report 2006-1253

Assessment of Undiscovered Technically Recoverable Conventional Petroleum Resources of Northern Afghanistan

By T.R. Klett, G.F. Ulmishek, C.J. Wandrey, Warren F. Agena, and the U.S. Geological Survey-Afghanistan Ministry of Mines and Industry Joint Oil and Gas Resource Assessment Team Geographic Information Systems, spatial data management, and petroleum-generation modeling by Douglas Steinshouer

The U.S. Geological Survey-Afghanistan Ministry of Mines and Industry Joint Oil and Gas Resource Assessment Team includes T.R. Klett1 (Team Leader; tklett@usgs.gov), Abdulla Amirzada2 , Amir Selab2 , Salam Abdul Muty2 , Haidari Gulam Nakshband2 , Moeen Gul Wardak2 , Abdul Hosine2 , Aminulah2 , Abdul Wahab2 , Gregory F. Ulmishek1 , C.J. Wandrey1 (Project Chief, cwandrey@usgs.gov), Warren F. Agena1 , David J. Taylor1 , Ronald Hill1 , Michael Pribil1 , J. David King1 , Mark J. Pawlewicz1 , Charles E. Barker1 , Thomas S. Ahlbrandt1 , Ronald R. Charpentier1 , Richard M. Pollastro1 , Christopher J. Schenk1

1. U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, Denver Federal Center, MS 939, Denver, CO 80225 U.S.A.
2. Oil and Gas Affairs, Afghanistan Ministry of Mines and Industry, Great Masaoud Road, Kabul, Afghanistan.


Abstract

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey - Afghanistan Ministry of Mines and Industry Joint Oil and Gas Resource Assessment Team estimated mean volumes of undiscovered petroleum in northern Afghanistan; the resulting estimates are 1.6 billion barrels (0.2 billion metric tons) of crude oil, 16 trillion cubic feet (0.4 trillion cubic meters) of natural gas, and 0.5 billion barrels (0.8 billion metric tons) of natural gas liquids. Most of the undiscovered crude oil is in the Afghan-Tajik Basin and most of the undiscovered natural gas is in the Amu Darya Basin.

Four total petroleum systems were identified, and these were subdivided into eight assessment units for the purpose of this resource assessment. The area with the greatest potential for undiscovered natural gas accumulations is in Upper Jurassic carbonate and reef reservoirs beneath an impermeable salt layer in relatively unexplored parts of northern Afghanistan. The Afghan-Tajik Basin has the greatest potential for undiscovered crude oil accumulations, and these are potentially in Cretaceous to Paleogene carbonate reservoir rocks associated with thrust faulting and folding.

Version 1.0

Posted September 2006

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