The US-based BBB Champions Oil and its UAE partner Emirates Associated Business Group (EABG) are going to start oil and gas exploration in block 8 in Janakpur, block 9 in Rajbiraj, and block 10 in Biratnagar from December.
BBB Champions and EABG expects to spend over $ 10 million per block in their exploration phase in each of the three blocks to locate, identify and establish oil and gas production both conventionally and unconventionally, said president of BBB Champions Oil Michael D Mitcham here today.
"If the combined efforts of exploration are successful, Nepal will become independent on energy," he said, adding that it will also raise the standard of living and contribute to the overall economy.
The Department of Mines and Geology had awarded three petroleum exploration blocks to the US-based BBB Champions Oil and the Dubai-based Emirates Associated Business Group on July 5 after a cabinet approval.
The department had asked for bids for petroleum exploration in three blocks — 8, 9 and 10 — in January.
The companies will have four years to complete the exploration work, according to the department. "They can also extend the term for four more years in two installments, if they fail to meet the deadline but their work progress has to be satisfactory," it added.
With the handing over of the three blocks, all the 10 blocks have been handed over to foreign companies for exploration.
The government had already awarded two blocks — block 3 in Banke and block 5 in Chitwan — to Houston-based Texana Resources Company, and five blocks to a Scottish oil and gas company Cairn Energy.
Similarly, Cairn also has a licence to explore five other blocks; block 1 in Dhangadi, block 2 in Karnali, block 4 in Lumbini, block 6 in Birgunj and block 7 in Malangawa.
The department has divided the Terai and Siwalik Hills into 10 exploration blocks of 5,000-sq-km each for oil and gas exploration.