Chinese team starts hydrocarbon exploration in Nepal’s western district

Kathmandu, May 8 (IANS) A team of Chinese experts on Sunday launched a study on prospects for minerals, gas and oil at Shreesthan in Dailekh, a western district of Nepal, which, officials claim, holds petroleum products in abundance.

It is after a gap of two decades that the Nepal government has allowed Chinese geologists to begin hydrocarbon exploration in the western part of the country in a bid to become self-reliant.

Six Chinese experts are involved in the exploration bid, according to a government statement issued here.

The Chinese team will carry out the feasibility study on all 10 petroleum blocks in Nepal sprawled from east to west.

The Chinese team will report its findings in about a month on the exploration prospects apart from the amount of petroleum products that could be harnessed in the district.

The study comes in the wake of an agreement between Nepal and China during Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli’s visit to the communist country in March, said Minister for Industry Som Prasad Pandey, who kick-started the exploration venture.

Under the agreement, China was also to help in the construction of at least three petroleum reservoirs in Nepal.

China will also extend technical and financial help to Nepal in exploration.

Nepal began exploring for hydrocarbons some three decade ago and awarded several contracts to international firms. But the attempts were not a success due to lack of political will and adequate budget.

–IANS

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