Fuel-starved Nepal signs agreement with China for oil, ending India’s monopoly

FILE- In this Sept. 24, 2015 file photo, Nepalese oil tankers and commercial trucks stand stranded near a gate that marks the Nepalese border with India, in Birgunj, Nepal. Fuel-starved Nepal has signed an agreement with China to provide gasoline, diesel and cooking gas, after India restricted its supplies as a result of ongoing political protests in the Himalayan nation, officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Ram Sarraf, file) – See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/fuel-starved-nepal-signs-agreement-with-china-for-oil-ending-india-s-monopoly-1.2098752#sthash.zfwekOC8.dpuf

By Binaj Gurubacharya / The Associated Press

KATHMANDU, Nepal – Fuel-starved Nepal has signed an agreement with China to import gasoline, diesel and cooking gas, effectively ending a monopoly on supply from India, which has restricted fuel convoys as a result of political protests in the Himalayan nation.

The decision to import Chinese oil amid severe shortages has brought China a step closer to Nepal, which traditionally is more influenced by India in the south. The two Asian giants have been jostling for influence in landlocked Nepal.

Nepal sent a team of officials this week to Beijing, where they signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday with China National United Oil Corp., said Nepal Oil Corp. official Deepak Baral.

Details on how much fuel Nepal will receive, prices and other arrangements still need to be worked out, Baral said, but he confirmed the supply would be on a regular basis.

It would be the first time for Nepal to import Chinese fuel. It has so far relied exclusively on India for its energy needs.

Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup declined comment on Nepal’s agreement with China.

Read more » Time Colonist
Learn more » http://www.timescolonist.com/fuel-starved-nepal-signs-agreement-with-china-for-oil-ending-india-s-monopoly-1.2098752
– See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/fuel-starved-nepal-signs-agreement-with-china-for-oil-ending-india-s-monopoly-1.2098752#sthash.zfwekOC8.dpuf

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