Nepal, India discuss future areas of cooperation

Kathmandu, August 22

The second meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Working Group on oil and gas cooperation that was conducted through video conferencing recently, held discussions on future areas of cooperation in the petroleum energy sector, including possibilities of new pipelines for supply of petroleum products to Nepal.

The participants also expressed satisfaction on the functioning of Motihari-Amlekhgunj Petroleum Pipeline, which was jointly inaugurated and operationalised by the prime ministers of both countries in September last year.

The pipeline, the first-of-itskind in the South Asia region, has been supplying a majority of the fuel requirement of Nepal to Amlekhgunj depot of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC).

The August 13 meeting was cochaired by B N Reddy, joint secretary at Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, government of India and Prem Kumar Shrestha, joint secretary at Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Supplies, government of Nepal.

Representatives from the Embassy of India in Kathmandu, Indian public sector oil and gas companies such as Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), GAIL (formerly known as Gas Authority of India Ltd) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs of Nepal and NOC participated in JWG meeting, as per a media release issued today.

The JWG mechanism was set up in 2017 to further strengthen the long standing cooperation between IOC and NOC and diversify areas of cooperation between the two countries in oil and gas sector. The first meeting of the JWG was held in January this year in New Delhi.

Both sides encouraged their respective companies to work closely for expanding engagement in the petroleum sector.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 23, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.