Institutional capacitybuilding programme and expert assistance on legal framework, fiscal terms, environmental management, and support to the Ministry of Mines for international tendering of oil and gas blocks


Cooperating institution
Ministry of Mines of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (MoM)

Goals and objectives
The overall goal is to improve Afghanistan’s capability to exercise regulatory control and to develop policies and strategies for a better administration of the country’s petroleum resources.

More specific objectives include a capacity-building programme based on seminars, training programmes and mentoring; establishing a team of experts to support the programme; ensuring that the recommendations of the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) are implemented; and facilitating transparency through good resource management in accordance with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI ).

The programme consists of the following main components:

  • Expert team supporting the Ministry of Mines (under a framework agreement with Econ Pöyry)
  • Capacity building programme (under a framework agreement with Petrad)

Project period

Total budget
Advisory team: NOK 8 million Capacity building: NOK 7 million (2008–2009)

Oil for Development:
Mr. Petter Stigset,

Cooperating institutions in Norway:
Ministry of the Environment (MoE) Petrad




Official Name
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan


Chief of state
President Hamid Karzai

Head of Government
President Hamid Karzai

28 395 716 (2009 est.)

Petroleum sector, key figures
Insignificant production (2009)
Significant proven reserves, mainly gas

Organization of the sector
Ministry of Mines


Brief history of the project

At the end of 2006, the Afghan authorities applied for assistance from Norway in developing a petroleum regulatory authority.

A team of experts from Econ Pöyry and Arntzen de Besche has contributed to establishing a basis for a long-term cooperation. Work has been focused on drafting a petroleum act, petroleum regulations, competence building, as well as providing support to the first Afghan oil and gas tender round.

A Memorandum of Understanding on petroleum sector cooperation was signed by the Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development, Mr. Erik Solheim, in Kabul on 8 October 2007.


Activities in 2009

Policy, resource management and contract negotiations training was conducted in Stavanger for 12 representatives from the Ministry of Mines, while two representatives participated in Petrad’s eight-week training programme on Petroleum Policy and Resource Management.

An environmental status report was prepared for the Sheberghan Area in Afghanistan. The MoM participated with six representatives in the Middle East Regional Environmental Management Workshop in Istanbul. In Afghanistan, a six-week training programme on environmental management and auditing was completed for nine of the MoM’s core environmental staff. Several workshops on oil and gas environmental issues were conducted for a wider audience as a part of this programme.

Data management training and consultancy was conducted both in Norway and in Afghanistan for selected MoM staff.

Expert assistance was given for the development of the hydrocarbon law and preparations for the first oil and gas tender round.


Key achievements in 2009

The Petroleum Law, which embedded principles of revenue transparency in line with the EITI criteria, was passed by the Parliament.

The international bidding round for the three blocks around Sheberghan was concluded with the receipt of one bid for the oil block.

The Presidential election in the autumn of 2009, and the increasing level of insecurity reduced considerably the activity level of the oil and gas tender round as well as the capacity building activities.