Peru: oil majors eye Amazon

The Peruvian government is aggressively touting claims that international oil majors are about to return to the country’s hydrocarbon-rich Amazon region after being scared off by political instability for nearly a generation. Daniel Saba, president of the state energy company PetroPeru, told reporters Nov. 10 that the French Total, one of the world’s four top oil companies, is currently evaluating potential contracts. “They are interested in entering the zones where hydrocarbon discoveries are occurring, whether gas or petroleum; they are investigating the Peruvian market,” he said.

In 2000, Total participated in the auction for Lot 88 in the Camisea field, but lost the bid to Pluspetrol of Argentina, which now leads the Camisea consortium. Saba also reiterated earlier claims that such industry majors as ExxonMobil are also considering a return to Peru. And he reminded reporters that Hunt Oil (also a partner in the Camisea consortium) is currently conducting explorations at Lot 76 in Madre de Dios. (Andina, Nov. 10)

Days later, Foreign Commerce Minister Martín Pérez told reporters that the Chinese National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) is similarly considering new Peru contracts. “The president of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Jintao, indicates that his country is interested in deepening a strategic association with Peru, and this includes more investments in our country,” he told reporters in Singapore, where he accompanied President Alan Gárcia for the APEC summit. (Andina, Nov. 14)

See our last posts on Peru’s rainforest and China in Latin America.

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