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Talara: US$6.25 billion oil reserves on the verge of potential reprivatization

Talara: US$6.25 billion oil reserves on the verge of potential reprivatization

There would be oil worth no less than US$6.25 billion in talaradivided into 8 lots that maintain a joint reserve of almost 100 million barrels and that could be re-privatized in the next five years before the expiration of the permits signed three decades ago.

During the event ‘Peru: hydrocarbons and the future of oil lots’, organized at UNMSM, professor Jorge Manco said that there has been an interest in not reverting lots I to the State (operated by Petroperú, but temporarily). , II, V, VI, VII, X, XV and Z-2B.

“Conservatively, at prices of US$70 per barrel, we are talking about a potential wealth of US$6,254 million,” said Manco Zaconetti.

In this sense, he explained that the entry of Petroperú to 100% of Block X and the total operation of the New Talara Refinery (NRT), from 2024, would generate an EBITDA of US$675 million, an amount with which the company could settle debts. and collect a margin that would allow it to continue operating as the only counterweight to fuel prices before the private sector.

Manco warned that the Lot X, administered today by the Chinese CNPC, whose contract expires in May 2024, occupies 70% of Talara’s oil production. This block was privatized in 1996 with the idea that it only had 40 million barrels of proven reserves. Those who exploited it to date have drilled more than 1,340 development holes and only one exploration hole.

  Lot x.  The most important in the Talara basin must have Petroperú as operator, in the opinion of various specialists.  Photo: diffusion

Lot x. The most important in the Talara basin must have Petroperú as operator, in the opinion of various specialists. Photo: diffusion

“Between 1997 and 2022, 118 million barrels have been extracted from there. There are almost 50 million left, and from the point of view of public interest, they must return to the Peruvian State, since minimal investments are needed to extract it, ”he indicated.

Position supported by the economist Oleg Valladares, who expressed that the state company currently has the financial and technical capacity to assume the operation under current regulations, with lots that are self-financing and that will guarantee vertical integration to cover all demand for new investments.

“If the NRT was not executed at the time, fuel imports would have increased exponentially and prices would have risen locally tied to international parity. With this we would have evident energy insecurity,” he remitted.

Ongoing suitability

For his part, the former president of Petroperú Humberto Campodónico pointed out the need to strengthen the corporate, meritocratic and transparent government of the state company, which today competes “with one hand tied behind its back” since it was privatized.

During his tenure at the head of Petroperú in 2022, a bill was sent to the Ministry of Energy and Mines (Minem) so that the appointment and removal of its directors occurs in the same way as with other state companies in the region, such as Petrobras, Ecopetrol and ENAP, and not as is the case now, where they are appointed at their discretion.

“Although in Osinergmin, Ositran and Sunass there are requirements, and Fonafe also has them for other public companies, they do not exist in Petroperú. Someone even mediocre can be appointed to the board and that is a problem, although today those chosen are suitable professionals, ”he said.

However, the professor also stated that there are historical disagreements with the Executive that seek to weaken the company’s market position, especially when four contracts are about to expire in the next two years.

“If Petroperú’s participation in Talara were at this moment 49%, it would have up to US$144 million of EBITDA only there, of which Block X is the most relevant,” he signed.

  Option.  With the entry into Talara oil blocks, the aim is to ensure the supply load guarantee for the new refinery.  Photo: diffusion

Option. With the entry into Talara oil blocks, the aim is to ensure the supply load guarantee for the new refinery. Photo: diffusion

Petroperú prepares to operate the lots

The full operation of the NRT it will begin in the following weeks, said the president of the board of Petroperú, Pedro Chira. In addition, he stated that the state company continues firm in its vertical integration process, since it seeks to participate in the operation of the oil blocks in the northwest, as it has been doing since December 2021 with Block I.

For the international firm Arhtur D Little, the NRT would generate an annual positive EBITDA for Petroperú in the next 15 years of US$472 million. The external debt of the oil company today is US$347 million.

reactions

Humberto Campodónico, former president of Petroperú

“The proper functioning of Petroperuwhich competes with one hand tied behind its back since it was privatized, also depends on good corporate governance, meritocracy and transparency.

Oleg Valladares, UNMSM professor

“The EBITDA that the reversal of the Talara lots will generate is positive and will cover the investments. Vertical integration, added to the NRT, gives greater energy security and autonomy to the country”.

Jorge Manco, UNMSM researcher

“Conservatively, at current prices of $70 per barrel, we are talking about potential wealth only in Talara of US$6,254 million. That is what is at stake right now.”

Source: Larepublica

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