Peru seeks contract to extend Camisea pipeline

Peru’s President Alan García said Feb. 13 the government will launch an auction for rights to build a new pipeline to connect the massive Camisea gas field in the Amazon region to Chimbote on the country’s north coast. Currently, the only pipeline from Camisea runs to the southern Pacific coast. The new pipeline would branch off to the north near the city of Cuzco. (Reuters, Feb. 13)

The move comes a day after Peru’s Congress voted to establish a commission to investigate the sale of Petro-Tech Peruana for $900 million to a partnership made up of Colombia’s Ecopetrol and the Korea National Oil Corp, or KNOC. A multi-party commission has 60 days to report its findings. Lawmakers acted on a request from García, who has strongly criticized the deal announced one week earlier. “If it is proven that there is some kind of irregularity or if it is shown that Peru has been hurt by this, then the executive branch will have to take some decision,” Prime Minister Yehude Simon said at a press conference.

The commission is to probe the relationship between Petro-Tech and two government bodies: PetroPeru, the state oil refiner, transporter and retailer; and PeruPetro, the agency that awards concessions. Reports suggest Petro-Tech was involved in industrial espionage. Petro-Tech, owned by Offshore International Group Inc., currently operates block Z2B off Peru’s northern coast, with an average production of close to 12,000 barrels of hydrocarbon a day. (Dow Jones, Feb. 12; La Republica, Lima, Feb. 6)

See our last post on Peru.

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