Afghanistan could start commercial crude oil production by the end of the year, as a $600 million project in the northern part of the country by China's largest oil company advances.

China National Petroleum Corp., or CNPC, expects production from wells in northern Afghanistan to go from zero to 25,000 barrels per day by year-end, the Wall Street Journal said Wednesday.

CNPC, which plans to use trucks to ship the crude oil to either Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan or Tajikistan, also said production is expected to climb to 40,000 barrels per day next year.