Natural gas production test to be done at TekuThe Department of Mines and Geology (DoMG) has planned to start a natural gas production test at Pachali, Teku by mid-August. It is currently building the necessary infrastructure, it said.
The Department of Mines and Geology (DoMG) has planned to start a natural gas production test at Pachali, Teku by mid-August. It is currently building the necessary infrastructure, it said.
A joint survey carried out by the DoMG and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 1980 found gas deposits at a depth of 20-330 metres in the western part of Kathmandu and a number of locations in Lalitpur.
The reserves are spread over approximately 26 square kilometres and lie under Tripureshwor, Tinkune, Jadibuti, Imadol, Tikathali and Ekantakuna in the Kathmandu Valley.
The deposits are estimated to contain 317.6 million cubic metres of gas, or enough to meet the energy needs of 20,000 households for more than 50 years.
“We have been constructing the necessary infrastructure with the aim of starting trial production by mid-August,” said DoMG Director General Rajendra Prasad Khanal.
“However, we are not sure about the quantity of gas available in these areas,” he told a sub-committee of the parliamentary Industry, Commerce and Consumer Welfare Committee on Sunday.
The department has completed drilling up to a depth of 350 metres at Teku. DoMG Spokesperson Krishna Dev Jha said the department had been constructing a tank in which natural gas and water will be separated.
“The extracted gas will be compressed so that it can be stored in ordinary gas cylinders,” Jha said.
According to the department, the natural gas discovered at Teku is methane which is combustible and can be used as an energy source without further processing.
“However, it should be mixed with butane and propane before using for household purposes,” Jha said.
A distribution mechanism will be fixed after the commercial viability of the reserve is determined if the test production is successful, the department said.
Since there is no pipeline system, the department has planned to distribute the gas in cylinders which are used to sell liquefied petroleum gas imported from India.
In 1983, the DoMG had constructed three wells of 500 cubic metres capacity at Pachali, Teku with technical and financial support from the United Nations Development Programme and JICA.
The natural gas was supplied from this model plant to nearby government offices and hospitals on an experimental basis through PVC pipes. Supply was discontinued after eight years due to technical problems and political instability.
The DoGM has stepped up work to exploit the existing energy sources following the government’s announcement in the budget statement for 2017-18 that the sector would be prioritised.
It has recently acquired advanced drilling machines, handheld XRF, ground penetrating radar, drones, rainfall gauge and digitalised ore microscope, among other equipment.
Similarly, the DoMG has been developing a digital database so that a geographic information system (GIS) can be used to locate deposits.
According to Jha, the digital information system will enable the department to help maintain records of the existing reserves of mineral resources besides tracking companies that have been given exploration and extraction contracts.