New Delhi: ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas investment arm of India's energy explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd, and seven other international firms have been shortlisted by Afghanistan for oil and gas exploration in the northern part of the mineral-rich nation, media reports said.
Afghanistan's Ministry of Mines has shortlisted eight firms for exploration, development and production of six blocks in the western portion of the Afghan-Tajik basin.
The shortlisted firms will have to submit their bids by October 31, and the winning bidder for exploration of the six blocks is likely to be announced by early 2013.
Other shortlisted firms are Dubai-based Dragon Oil Plc, Kuwait Energy Plc, Brazil's Petra Energia SA, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd, Thailand's PTT Public Co Ltd, US' Exxon-Mobil Corp and Turkey's TPAO.
The blocks on offer have several hundreds million barrels of equivalent reserves, as per the Afghanistan's mines ministry estimates.
Last year, Afghanistan inked an agreement with Chinese state-run energy explorer China National Petroleum Corp for three blocks,which are estimated to have 87 million barrels of oil, in the Amu Darya basin.