Petroleum exploration work hampered due to coronavirus

Published On: March 1, 2020 09:49 AM NPT By: Nagendra Upadhyaya

DAILEKH, Mar 1: The widespread outbreak of coronavirus in China has affected the petroleum exploration work in Dailekh. 

Earlier, the Chinese team had carried out field research for five months in the Panchakoshi area. The team had already completed the work of statistics survey but the team has not been able to travel to China for its test.

“The team had completed the work of underground statistics collection around 200 kilometers for five months,” said camp management head, Suryamani Lamichhane, “The second phase of the work is in limbo as we are unable to send the collected data to China.” He said that the report of the data will be acquired after three months of sending the sample to China for testing.

The information on the quantity of petroleum products in the Panchakoshi area of Dailekh will be available after the lab test. He said that such tests are possible only in China and the United States. The Chinese team had been involved in the exploration of petroleum products since November.

The Chinese Embassy in Nepal has not let its citizen to return to China due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Though the first phase of the work, that is the collection of data has been completed, some members of the Chinese team have been staying in camps set at Chupra of Dugeshwor Rural Municipality and Dullu of Dullu Municipality. 

Some Chinese workers who left for Kathmandu to return to China are now back to Dailekh. Lamichhane said that, the Chinese workers are worried that the investment for the exploration of petroleum products will increase because of the coronavirus.

“If the statistics collected by the team could be sent to China for lab test, the Chinese technicians had plans of preparing for the second phase,” he said, “Now that it is not possible and they are worried that the investment might increase.” He informed that the work till now has been completed as per the target, but works in the following days might be affected because of the virus' impact. “Though the team has completed the work of the first phase, they are unable to return back to their country and the lab test of collected statistics has not happened,” he said, “They are worried that the investment will swell.” He said that the Chinese technical team needs to go to China for the lab test.

“Just sending the statistics will not do, the technical team involved in the collection in the field need to reach China,” he said, “The Chinese Embassy in Nepal has not sent the people involved in the data collection to China because of the widespread outbreak of coronavirus.”

According to the Department of Mines and Geology (DoMG), the petroleum exploration work has been carried out taking Kotila of Panchakoshi area to Paduka area as the base. 

A total of 10 line seismic survey; three in the East-West and seven in the North-south area were carried out. The team had carried out petroleum, geological, magnet, telluric, geochemical and sampling survey. On the basis of the lab test report, the team will carry out deep drilling up to four kilometers. 

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