Oil and Natural Gas

Development of Afghanistan’s oil and gas resources is essential to the country’s economic development. During the 1980s and 1990s, the USGS conducted broad regional oil and gas resource assessments in northwestern Afghanistan. As part of the current Oil and Natural Gas Project in Afghanistan, scientists with USGS have worked to obtain and review all available geochemical, geologic, seismic, tectonic, and petroleum exploration and production data in order to accurately characterize the country’s petroleum geology.

 In cooperation with the Afghanistan Ministry of Mines and Industry (AMMI), USGS has also undertaken a comprehensive assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources (including crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids/condensates), primarily in the northern part of the country. The purpose of this assessment is to provide data necessary to implement rebuilding and development of Afghanistan’s energy infrastructure.

The assessment is based on the geologic elements of total petroleum systems defined in the geologic province, including (1) source rock presence, maturation, petroleum generation, and migration, (2) location and quality of reservoir rocks, and (3) character of traps and time of formation with respect to petroleum migration. Detailed studies of geochemistry, petroleum geology, geophysics, and tectonics combined with an analysis of previous exploration efforts were used to estimate the number and size of undiscovered petroleum accumulations.

View assessment results with this interactive map (above), which incorporates GIS and other data relating to the region’s geology, geochemistry, and geography, known oil and gas fields and wells, and additional parameters necessary for evaluating the country’s petroleum resources and their potential for exploration and development.  


For a list of all USGS Oil and Gas Project publications, go here.