Taliban Aims to Create Energy Trade Hub Eyeing Russian Oil Exports

Taliban Aims to Create Energy Trade Hub Eyeing Russian Oil Exports
Taliban Aims to Create Energy Trade Hub Eyeing Russian Oil Exports

The Taliban, who govern Afghanistan, are working with and Turkmenistan to create a regional energy trade hub that would facilitate oil sales from to South Asia, Taliban acting commerce minister Nooruddin Azizi told Reuters this week.

Representatives of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan have recently discussed in Kabul the idea of ​​creating an energy and logistics hub in the Herat province in western Afghanistan. The three countries plan to invest in the hub, which is expected to be a hub for oil from Russia to the oil-dependent countries in South Asia, including Pakistan, Azizi told Reuters.

“Based on our discussions, a logistics center is going to be established in Herat province, which can connect the north to South Asia,” he said.

After the trilateral meetings in Afghanistan last week, technical teams from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan will draft an agreement within two months laying out the official plans for the new energy hub, Azizi told Reuters.

The logistics hub is initially planned to have a capacity of 1 million tons of oil, the Taliban minister said but did not specify when such hub could start operations.

Kazakhstan, for its part, is eyeing the development of roads and a railway through Afghanistan to have connections with the Gulf and South Asia, the Kazakh trade ministry told Reuters in a statement.

Currently, Kazakhstan’s crude oil exports are dependent on logistics in Russia and Russian ports on the Black Sea.

The Taliban will not have issues selling Russian oil-they have struck fuel deals with Iran and Russia in recent years.

In the autumn of 2022, Minister Azizi said that under a deal with Russia, Afghanistan would get 1 million tons of gasoline, 1 million tons of diesel fuel, 500,000 tons of liquefied petroleum gas, and 2 million tons of wheat per year.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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