KATHMANDU- Nepal and India have held the second meeting of the Joint Working Group on Oil and Gas cooperation through video conferencing.
During the virtual meeting held last week, senior officials of both countries have discussed future areas of cooperation in the petroleum energy sector including possibilities of new pipelines for the supply of petroleum products to Nepal.
Upbeat with the success of Motihari-Amlekhgunj Petroleum Products Pipeline that was jointly inaugurated by Prime Ministers of both countries in September last year, the two sides have agreed to explore possibilities to build new cross-border petroleum pipelines.
India has remained the sole supplier of petroleum products to Nepal.
Issuing a statement on Saturday, the Embassy of India to Nepal stated that the virtual meeting was co-chaired by B N Reddy, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Government of India and Prem Kumar Shrestha, Joint Secretary in the 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 IOCL, GAIL and HPCL, Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs of Nepal and Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) also participated in the JWG meeting, according to the statement.
“The meeting expressed satisfaction on the functioning of the Motihari-Amlekhgunj Petroleum Products Pipeline, which was jointly inaugurated and operationalized by Prime Ministers of both countries in September 2019,” read the statement, adding that two sides discussed bilateral cooperation on the oil and gas sector.
With the grant support from India, the pipeline, first of its kind in the South Asia region, was built in 2019. Indian Oil Corporation has been supplying the majority of the fuel requirement of Nepal to Amlekhgunj Depot of the Nepal Oil Corporation through this pipeline.
The JWG mechanism was set up in 2017 to further strengthen the cooperation between IOC and NOC and diversify areas of cooperation between the two countries on the oil and gas sector.
“Both sides encouraged their respective companies to work closely for expanding engagement in the petroleum sector,” the statement added.