Block 192: conflict imminent over government award to Canadian company
30 August 2015
At the same time as the contract to exploit Block 192 expired at the end of August, the government apparently signed a new contract with a Canadian firm, Pacific Stratus Energy. Only days previously, the Congress in Lima had struck down a bill adjudicating the Block to Petroperú, the state oil company. A few weeks earlier, the government had failed to find bidders willing to take on Block 192, the country’s main source of onshore crude, from the Argentine firm Pluspetrol.
In Iquitos, the capital of Loreto (the region in which Block 192 is situated), local people prepared to mobilise against the decision of the government during the last days of August. Thousands marched through the streets of Iquitos. Meanwhile, the indigenous peoples who have been at the forefront of attempts to obtain remediation for the environmental damage caused by prior exploitation of Block 192, threatened to seize the installations and block the rivers in the area (which are the main channels of communication).
The issue was thus poised to become explosive, creating new and serious political problems for the Humala administration. We hope to provide a fuller report in next week's Newsletter. Meanwhile, for some useful background, see http://elcomercio.pe/politica/actualidad/lote-192-lo-que-debes-saber-conflicto-politico-social-noticia-1836505?flsm=1