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Land-locked Nepal is entirely within the central Himalayas mountain range. The Himalayas represent the folded and thrusted remains of deposits within the Tethyan ocean, that lay between the Eurasian plate and the Indo-Australian plate. These are combined with Precambrian and Palaeozoic basement rocks of the southern edge of the Tibetan block of Eurasia.
Collision began about 65 million years ago at which time oceanic crust began to subduct and then thrust over the Tibetan block to produce the complex tectonics of the mountain range we see today. The Indian plate continues to be driven below the Tibetan Plateau, which is forcing the mountains higher and the plateau upwards.
The lowland Tertiary inter-montane sedimentary basin of Nepal, called the Ganga Basin, is on trend with the oil producing Potwar Basin to the west in Pakistan and with the Assam Basin to the east in India and they have similar geologic histories. Within this basin oil and gas seeps have been recorded in western Nepal including the Muktinath gas seep and Dailekh oil and gas seep north of the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT).
However, a number of wells have been drilled in India in the Ganga basin and one well has been drilled in Nepal but none have encountered commercial hydrocarbons. Although potential plays may exist Globalshift believes the likelihood is that any traps present have been breached through recent uplift. Nepal is not expected to have any potential for oil and gas production in the short and medium term.