Petroleum resource potential GIS of northern Afghanistan

Open-File Report 2006-1179
Prepared in cooperation with the Afghanistan Ministry of Mines and Industry Joint Oil and Gas Resource Assessment Team and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency
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This CD-ROM contains an ESRI ArcReader format GIS project presenting the results of a petroleum resource assessment of Northern Afghanistan, and other data used in the petroleum assessment. Geologic, structural, field, well, political, and other GIS layers covering Afghanistan, Northern Afghanistan and adjacent areas, along with associated geochemical and other data tables pertinent to a petroleum assessment are included. The purpose of this GIS is to provide the basic data layers and tables required to support the petroleum assessment, data for further exploration and development, and an index of known data.


One of the results of more than two decades of strife in Afghanistan is a shortage of, or lack of access to, the energy needed to improve the living conditions. Food, clothing, shelter, heat, sanitation, and industry all depend on the availability of energy in some form. Energy in the form of fossil fuels has long been known to be present in Afghanistan but has been developed for the common good only to a limited extent. Improvement of living and economic conditions in the nation requires action in diverse fields, but an increase in the availability of energy is essential to all.

As part of the U.S. Government’s effort to aid in reconstructing Afghanistan’s economy and infrastructure, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is cooperating with the Afghanistan Ministry of Mines and Industry (AMMI) to assess the undiscovered petroleum (includes crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids/condensates) resources of Afghanistan. Funding for this effort was provided by the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

Much of the crude oil and natural gas resource potential, and all of the known reserves are in northern Afghanistan, located in parts of two major petroliferous geologic provinces, the Amu Darya Basin in the western part and the Afghan-Tajik Basin in the eastern part. The area of the two basins combined encompasses approximately 515,000 square kilometers (200,000 square miles).

The assessment is based on the geologic elements of total petroleum systems defined in the geologic province, including (1) source rock presence, maturation, petroleum generation, and migration, (2) location and quality of reservoir rocks, and (3) character of traps and time of formation with respect to petroleum migration. Detailed studies of geochemistry, petroleum geology, geophysics, and tectonics combined with an analysis of previous exploration efforts were used to aid in the estimation of the number and sizes of undiscovered petroleum accumulations.

Suggested Citation

Steinshouer, D.W., Klett, T.R., Ulmishek1, G.F., Wandrey, C.J., Wahl, R.R., Hill, R.J., Pribil, M., Pawlewicz, M.J., King, J.D., Agena, W.F., Taylor, D.J., Amirzada, A., Selab, A.M., Mutteh, A., Haidari, G.N., Wardak, M.G., 2006, Petroleum Resource Potential GIS of Northern Afghanistan: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006-1179, CD-ROM,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

ISSN: 0196-1497 (print)

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Petroleum resource potential GIS of northern Afghanistan
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2006-1179
ISBN 1411310519
DOI 10.3133/ofr20061179
Year Published 2006
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Mineral Resources Program
Description CD-ROM; Online Files
Country Afghanistan
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details