When I read the headline "Afghanistan to Start Oil-Licensing" confirmed by Reuters, at first I thought "Afghanistan does not have any oil does it ... Iraq has the oil - right?"
Then I studied up on it a bit and found this old data:
Since the first oil field was discovered in Afghanistan in 1959 ...(USGS [for some inexplicable reason, wink, wink, the gov changed the original page, so here is the page on The Wayback Machine - gotcha gov] ).
The USGS has previously conducted broad regional oil and gas resource assessments of northwestern Afghanistan as part of the Amu Darya basin, most of which is located in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. These assessments were published by Kingston (1986 and 1990), Masters and others (1995), and Ulmishek (2000).
I began to wonder why we have not heard much about oil in Afghanistan from our journalists, but have instead been hearing questions that basically wonder why we are even still in Afghanistan after 10 years.
Then I remembered that the news media is an "M" in MOMCOM (see MOMCOM for explanation).
I found another discussion that took place in the winter of 2001-2002 that had made some rather strong statements about oil in the area:
As the war in Afghanistan unfolds, there is frantic diplomatic activity to ensure that any post-Taliban government will be both democratic and pro-West. Hidden in this explosive geo-political equation is the sensitive issue of securing control and export of the region's vast oil and gas reserves. The Soviets estimated Afghanistan's proven and probable natural gas reserves at 5 trillion cubic feet - enough for the United Kingdom's requirement for two years - but this remains largely untapped because of the country's civil war and poor pipeline infrastructure.(Rethinking Schools, Winter 2001-2002, bold added). That shocked me a bit because even though I had heard Afghanistan was important in terms of gas and oil pipelines, it is considered to be a "conspiracy theory".
More importantly, according to the U.S. government, "Afghanistan's significance from an energy standpoint stems from its geographical position as a potential transit route for oil and natural gas exports from central Asia to the Arabian Sea."
To the north of Afghanistan lies the Caspian and central Asian region, one of the world's last great frontiers for the oil industry due to its tremendous untapped reserves. The U.S. government believes that total oil reserves could be 270 billion barrels. Total gas reserves could be 576 trillion cubic feet.
I did not expect Afghanistan to have oil reserves because I had not even heard of any conspiracy theories to that effect.
The recent talk in the main stream media (MSM) about the minerals there (lithium, gold, etc.) threw me further off the trail, which is probably what MOMCOM was trying to do.
In a couple of posts recently Dredd Blog touched upon the BP phenomenon:
in The Luck of MOMCOM we observed how "lucky" MOMCOM was to invade Iraq to accidentally find that it had oil, and how "lucky" MOMCOM was to invade Afghanistan where it "was recently discovered" to have vast mineral deposits.Now we find out that BP is busy with the Afghanistan oil too.
In BP Is Too Busy In Iraq To Help Gulf we pointed out that BP is developing Iraq oil fields.
All this "good luck stuff" is probably classified now.
The development of Afghanistan's oil, gas, and a pipeline infrastructure was a strategic plan of those who influence the U.S. government as early as 1998, according to the congressional record.
It is part of the Peak of the Oil Wars.