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Afghanistan's natural resources need investment

As Kabul offers the oil industry exploration acreage in the north of the country, Richard Devine and Ana Severova* look at the legal and other challenges facing potential investors

Afghanistan is once again approaching a critical juncture. Two significant milestones are scheduled for 2014: the next presidential election and NATO’s withdrawal of all of its combat troops. Both events are likely to affect Afghanistan’s course, but neither will change the critical need for significant investment in social infrastructure. Afghanistan is seeking to address this need by attracting foreign investment into its natural resources sector. The US Geological Survey (USGS) estimated in 2006 that northern Afghanistan has undiscovered technically recoverable crude oil reserves of 1.6 billion barrels, comparable to those held by Equatorial Guinea, and 15.7 trillion cubic feet of undisc

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