July 3, 2019 03:00 AM NPT
By: Govinda KC
DAILEKH, July 3: The Department of Mines and Geology (DoMG) has said that it would keep progress made in mining of petroleum products in Panchakoshi of Dailekh secret.
"Everybody knows that exploration is going on in Panchakoshi area. But we will keep findings of this exploration secret because of the sensitivity of the matter," said Sudhir Rajaure, head of petroleum project of DoMG.
Officials of China Geological Survey and DoGM have visited the prospective areas of Shreesthan and Nawisthan for exploration of natural gas. Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Prasad Yadav and former industry minister Som Prasad Pandey, among other high ranking government officials, were in the team.
The team reached Dailekh after Nepal and China agreed to jointly explore petroleum products in different parts of Nepal over the next three years. The team will visit places like Shreesthan, Nawisthan, Dhuleshwor, Paduka and Kotila of Dailekh.
Rajaure said data related to reserve and extraction of oil and natural gas are kept secret throughout the world. “These data cannot be made public,” Rajaure said.
The investigation team will dig 5-20 kilometers in potential areas during the exploration.
"Previous explorations have showed prospects of petroleum products in Dailekh," he added. "We will conduct a study similar to MRI to find what lies beneath the rocks."
Even security personnel are not allowed in the study area of Shreesthan and Nawisthan. It is not clear yet how long the exploration will go on. The teams will look for both oil and natural gas reserves in Dailekh, according to officials.
A survey team comprising of 14 Chinese and three Nepalis are exploring the area.