Who Owns Peru's Oil Resources?

September 25, 2007

In Peru the word "petroleum" is part of the political lexicon. It was the most widely used term during the crisis that preceded the overthrow of Belaunde Terry's reformist government, which had just signed the onerous contract of at the rake nationalization of the La Brea and Pariaus oil fields with International Petroleum, a U.S. monopoly owned by Standard Oil of New Jersey. The word has also been employed by the gorilla military Junta headed by General Velsco A1varado following the announcement of the annulment of the contract and the expropriation of the oil fields and their annex refinery in Talara.

After the expropriation decree - which, according to the regime, will not be followed by new expropriations - Peru's yearly production of oil, etimated at 3 600 000 tons (Peru is the sixth largest oil producing country in Latin America), is distributed as : 1 872 000 tons for the Anglo- US companies; 792 000 for exclusively US companies; and 836 000 for the Empresa Petrolifera Fiscal (EPF), owned by the State, which thus controls only 26 percent of the country's production.

The as being worked at present are the North Zone, the Northeastern Zone (the most important in production, owned by the IPC [U.S.] and the British Lobitos)and the Continental Shelf.

In addition to the state-owned EPF, the following companies are in operation throughout the country: IPC, Amotap, Ganzo Azul and Delco (U.S.) and Lobitos and Burham Oil- (British).

There are three oil refinerie in the country: one in Talara and two in Lima, the capital. Operating in the exploration of future oil-producing are are the U.S. companies Cerro de Pasco (number one latifundist in the country), Mobile Oil and Peruvian Oill and Minerals, in addition to the state-owned EPF. Other foreign companies will be added to this group through concessions or by utilizing the equally onerous variant known as service contract."

The U.S. companies also have large interests in the transport sector- as well as in the fuel distribution network.

It can be readily seen that the announced "nationalist" oil policy of the Peruvian regime leaves most of the national oil in foreign hands.

Tags: Peru, oil exploitation

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