100 days after his administration began, the head of Minem, Óscar Vera Gargurevich, anticipates that the decree for the return of Petroperú to blocks I, VI and Z-2B of Talara will also include block X, a document that should be ready next week ahead of its reversal in 2024.
— What was achieved in these first 100 days?
— In mining, we can say that we have taken an important step by reactivating activity and expanding the message of confidence for investment. At this time, the same large companies are executing their expansion and are approaching us to indicate their interest after last year it had been falling. In hydrocarbons, work is underway on the construction of 1,500 km of networks from Piura to Tacna, with contracts that have been signed in less than three months with the operators. There will be another S/800 million to massify where gas does not reach today, such as Madre de Dios, Puno and Huancavelica, where we are finishing studies to begin the construction of networks virtually. In two or three months we should start that distribution.
— Regarding advertisements?
— We have information on the continuity of Anadarko, which has found important deposits in La Libertad and it is likely that we will soon have information on large volumes to produce 200,000 bpd. Low sulfur fuels are already being produced at the New Talara Refinery (NRT) and the high conversion units are about to start up, which will make the company profitable between April and May. Finally, say that we are now in a position to pump crude oil from the jungle to Bayóvar with the North Peruvian Pipeline.
— Isn’t the reversion of lots I, VI and Z-2B from Talara to Petroperú a milestone?
— Of course, it is important because this year contracts for almost 10,000 expire barrels per day (bpd). These fields cost between US$8 and US$10 per barrel, with the royalty they reach US$20, but Petroperú currently buys them for US$80. In the world, the industries of the sector are integrated, only in Peru was it different.
— When will the wording of the decree confirming this return be ready?
— That is handled by Perupetro. According to the coordination we have had, the documents are ready and the Vice Ministry of Hydrocarbons is looking at the wording so that, in the next few days, it can be published with the signature of President Dina Boluarte.
— Petroperú also expects to sign for Block X by the third quarter of this year.
— All those batches are going out together, including the X, next week. The decree must be issued at once for the entire area in a single document, so that we all know what the rules of the game are. The idea is that we will prepare for this stage. We want to guarantee work for all the people who are there and the technicians, who are first class.
Petroperú: New Talara Refinery continues to operate normally despite heavy rains. Source: diffusion
— Will the same royalty scheme be maintained?
— Yes, the idea is that this, which is based on the international price, is not affected. It is important because they are income for local governments that should be favored. I heard from the president of Perupetro about a 1.5% that would be remaining as a trust for the development of the towns. It seems fair to me, because look at the stagnation in all the towns of Talara in the last 30 years. They have not benefited from the activity.
— Has the news been well received in the private sector?
— We know that there are interests of those who are managing the lots. It’s natural. Today the profitability is high: only in Talara there are almost 30,000 bpd, and it is a significant amount. It is logical that there is some reaction. We as a State have the obligation to defend what corresponds to the country and Peruviansand in that we are firm.
— Regarding Block 192, it is crucial that the transit of the Norperuano Pipeline be resumed.
— I believe that the best way to achieve sustainability is an agreement with the communities, who feel that the benefit is coming. But not from the same ONP, where there are no significant gains. Petroperú only charges the cost of the transfer and, if its transfer level is less than 30,000 bpd, it operates at a loss. We hope that in a short time we will exceed those production levels that will generate a margin for more investment. But we can arrive as a Government. Petroperú has its own commitment plan with the communities, this is starting right now and I believe that, when executed, it will generate work for the population, which is what is most needed. There are some 500 communities around the ONP and we hope that pumping will fully resume this April.
— And as for the massification of gas, what comes now?
— At this moment, we can affirm that we will reach the most distant places with gas and, 100 days away at Minem, we have a large number of Peruvians who are going to benefit from massification. We have a plan to continue with the Southern gas pipeline and, since your investment is not paid for with the gas itself, we are working on petrochemical projects on the south coast. With this, we will be able to make ethylene and fertilizer plants. It is optimal to be able to take advantage of the gas, generate important resources in order to pay for the gas pipeline.
—Where and who will make these plants?
— The ring must pass along the entire coast, for this purpose ethylene plants in Ilo and Nazca. Probably, they are two poles, we have the ports and the most profitable option is the one that will be made. For now, I can tell you that one is one of the largest in the world in this type of project. All this will be made public soon.
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