Peru Agency Says Camisea Natural Gas Export Talks To Restart

2011-5-11

Peru's state agency for oil and gas concession licensing, Perupetro, expects to shortly restart talks with the private Camisea natural gas production consortium on what can and cannot be exported.

In an interview with local media, which was confirmed as correct by the company, Perupetro president Daniel Saba said the suspended negotiations with the consortium over the exclusive domestic use of natural gas from Lot 88 would restart "from this week."

Perupetro's discussions with the Camisea consortium, which is led by Argentina's Pluspetrol Peru Corp. SA, began last year. The negotiations center on the government's desire to confirm that natural gas from the Camisea field's Lot 88 is exclusively for domestic use over the long term.

The government also wants to ensure that royalties for Peru's exported gas, currently derived from Camisea's Lot 56, aren't lower than average royalties paid on domestic gas supplies.

Last year, following widespread protests over Peru's natural gas exports -- which started in June -- the government passed laws aimed at limiting exports from Lot 88 and increasing natural gas export royalty payments.

After the laws were passed another Camisea consortium member, Spain's Repsol YPF SA (REP, REP.MC), said it wasn't obliged to renegotiate the royalties it pays.

A separate statement last year from the private natural gas export consortium, Peru LNG, of which Repsol is also a member, said there is a no-export agreement over Lot 88 until 2014.

Saba added he was "sure that it (the Camisea consortium) would not take gas from Lot 88" because there was enough in the area but that "the important thing is to fix an agreement."

The U.S.'s Hunt Oil Co. is also a member of both the Camisea and Peru LNG consortiums. Other companies in the Camisea consortium include South Korea's SK Holdings Co. (003600.SE), Tecpetrol, a unit of Argentina's Techint Group and Algeria's Sonatrach Petroleum Corp.

Saba said the failure to reach an agreement with the Camisea consortium so far had left "a bitter taste." He also said, however, that he saw "a favorable position from one part of the Camisea Consortium" towards the negotiations.

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