Date
25 May 2017
A sign in the window of a restaurant in Kathmandu shows one result of Nepal's fuel shortage. Photo: Reuters
A sign in the window of a restaurant in Kathmandu shows one result of Nepal's fuel shortage. Photo: Reuters

Nepal signs oil deal with China as supplies from India dry up

Nepal has signed a deal with China to import petroleum products, its embassy in Beijing said, as the landlocked Himalayan country tries to boost supplies to deal with a deepening fuel crisis.

Kathmandu has been forced to ration fuel after protests against a new constitution strangled supplies from India.

India has been critical of Nepal for rushing through the constitution despite opposition from minorities living close to their common border.

While Nepal accuses India of imposing a blockade to show its displeasure, New Delhi says its truck drivers are concerned for their safety.

The Nepalese embassy said in a statement Wednesday a memorandum of understanding had been signed between Nepal Oil Corp. and PetroChina, without giving details of the deal.

China will also supply 1,000 tonnes of fuel to Nepal as a grant, the statement said.

Nepal is almost totally dependent on India for overland supplies following earthquakes in the spring that killed nearly 9,000 people and blocked crossings from China.

But as relations with India turned sour, there has been growing speculation that Kathmandu might seek help from China, India’s rival in the Himalayas.

– Contact us at [email protected]

FL

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe