Chinese experts to study fuel exploration, extraction prospects
Kathmandu, February 22
A Chinese expert team, including members from the National China Petroleum Corporation (NCPC), will be visiting Nepal in March to hold a geological study on country’s exploration of petroleum products.
Director General at Department of Mines and Geology (DoMG), Rajendra Prasad Khanal, informed that the Chinese expert team recently confirmed that it will visit Nepal for the aforementioned purpose next month though the actual date of the visit is yet to be determined.
Following a pact signed with China to support country’s petroleum exploration and extraction sector in March 2016, when Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was the country’s premier back then too and another pact inked between the two nations to explore petroleum and gas resources in Nepal in August last year during the visit of Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, the expert team is expected to study the technical feasibility of exploring and extracting oil resources in Nepal, as per Khanal.
Nepal has identified 10 petroleum blocks in the Tarai and Chure area. These blocks lie in between Dhangadi in the far-west to Biratnagar in the east. Each of these blocks is spread over an area of about 5,000 sq km.
Moreover, the government has issued petroleum exploration and extraction licence to different foreign firms at seven of the 10 identified petroleum blocks in the country since 1985. However, all of these licences were scrapped in 2014, as these firms could not come up with tangible results.
Of late, the government is once again gearing up to reopen licences for foreign firms for petroleum extraction and exploration in the country.
DoMG is in the process of publishing a global tender notice calling foreign bidders for exploration of petroleum products in the identified oil reserves.
“Unlike earlier, we will open only a few identified petroleum blocks for exploration, extraction in the first phase,” Khanal said.