Kathmandu, September 26
The Department of Mines and Geology (DoMG) has sought customs waiver on equipment being imported to explore petroleum products in the country.
The department has recently written a letter to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) seeking waiver on such equipment amid a Chinese firm expediting the petroleum exploration process in different places, including in Palpa and Dailekh districts.
Earlier, the government had awarded a Chinese team to carry out exploration of petroleum products in the two aforementioned districts. The team has already arrived in Nepal and is preparing to import necessary equipment for the exploration, informed Somnath Sapkota, director general at the department.
“We are optimistic that necessary equipment for the petroleum exploration works will get customs waiver. As exploration works cannot be carried out during monsoon, the Chinese team will start exploration works immediately after Dashain,” said Sapkota.
The Chinese team, after the initial drilling phase, will determine the types and amount of petroleum products located in the respective areas and possibilities of commercial exploration of the minerals, among other issues, according to DoMG.
Paving the way to begin exploration works for petroleum products in the country, the Cabinet on January 13 had approved a proposal titled ‘Implementation Agreements of China on Oil and Gas Resources Survey Projects in Nepal’ that was forwarded by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies.
Earlier, the government had 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.
In April, the Chinese team from China Geological Survey had observed and conducted a feasibility study in Surkhet, Dailekh and Palpa districts and also in the Chatara-Barahachhetra areas of Sunsari district.
Meanwhile, an MoF official said that equipment for exploration work of petroleum products are likely to get customs waiver facility
A version of this article appears in print on September 27, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.