Draft law to expand oil and gas investments causes alarm

8 June 2019

On 3 July, Wilbert Rozas of the Frente Amplio and head of the congressional committee dealing with indigenous and environmental affairs, raised the alarm against a measure that would greatly extend the reach of oil and gas exploration and production, introduce contentious technologies such as fracking, raise the length of concessions from 40 to 60 years, and curtail the mandate of the National Environmental Fund to mitigate damage to community owned forest and river territories (replacing it with a social fund with no participation for those suffering the inevitable damage. In short, a radical reversal of free prior and informed consent.

The brainchild of the Ministries of Energy and Mines (MEM) and of Economy and Finance (MEF) in 2016, the draft law enjoys the support from oil industry bodies. In 2018, the Sociedad Peruano de Hidrocarburos (SPH) predicted the law would generate an additional US$21 million in investment over four years, allowing the industry to reactivate 4,500 wells according to the Sociedad Nacional de Minería, Petróleo y Energía (SNMPE).

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