Kathmandu, June 23
As per the agreement with Nepal, a Chinese geological survey team has arrived for the exploration of petroleum prospects in various districts of Nepal. A team from China Geological Survey arrived on Saturday for the purpose.
According to officials from the Department of Mines and Geology (DoMG), the Chinese team is scheduled to meet different stakeholders on Monday. As per the initial study, the team needs to drill to a depth of at least four kilometres to locate any petroleum reserves. However, it has yet to finalise the exact place for the drilling.
Sudhir Rajhaure, head of petroleum exploration unit of DoMG, informed that in the first phase, the Chinese team will finalise the exact places where drilling activities will be conducted. “The team will finalise the detailed report of Surkhet- Dailekh, Butwal-Palpa and Chatara-Barahachhetra areas and will select one location in the initial phase for the exploration.”
After the drilling activities are completed, the technical team will determine the types and amount of petroleum products located in the respective areas and possibilities of commercial viability, among other issues.
Earlier, Nepal and China had inked an agreement to start exploration of petroleum prospects in Palpa and Dailekh districts on February 28 in Beijing. The agreement had a provision whereby a Chinese team would come to Nepal within June for the purpose.
The Cabinet meeting on January 13 had approved a proposal titled ‘Implementation Agreements of China on Oil and Gas Resources Survey Projects in Nepal’ with China. The agreement subsequently paved the way to begin exploration works for petroleum products in the country.
Earlier, on August 17, 2017, Nepal and China had formally agreed on exploring petroleum products in Nepal. Likewise, in April 2018, a team from China Geological Survey had observed and conducted a feasibility study in Surkhet, Dailekh and Palpa districts and also in the Chatara-Barahachhetra area of Sunsari district.
The government had earlier segregated 10 blocks for exploration of petroleum products in the country.
The 10 identified areas are Dhangadhi, Karnali, Nepalgunj, Lumbini, Chitwan, Birgunj, Malangwa, Janakpur, Rajbiraj and Biratnagar.
A version of this article appears in print on June 24, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.