LIMA – The Council of Ministers will review a bill approved by Congress that would allow state-owned Petroperu to operate Lot 192, the largest oil field in Peru, President Ollanta Humala said.
“We’re within the timeframe and we’re going to resolve this once we have the reports and, given how delicate this matter is, it’s going to be looked at by the Council of Ministers,” the president said in an interview with state-owned TV Peru.
The government opposed the approval of the bill by Congress on Sept. 4, arguing that the move would require the spending of public funds and that Canada’s Pacific Stratus Energy had already received a two-year concession for Lot 192.
Argentina’s Pluspetrol operated the field from 2001 until July, but the company was the target of frequent criticism from residents, who claimed land had been polluted and the oil company failed to carry out environmental remediation work it had agreed to.
“We have to strengthen Petroperu, but not try to destroy it. So, we have to give it the opportunity to gradually take on greater responsibilities,” Humala said.
The environmental and land claims made by Indian communities around Lot 192, located in the northern Amazonian region of Loreto, are “legitimate,” the president said.
Lot 192, located near the Peruvian-Ecuadorian border, accounts for 17 percent of Peru’s oil production.
About 11,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude are pumped from 16 wells in Lot 192.