PERU: INDIANS PROTESTS
Argentine oil company Pluspetrol Norte SA said Friday that indigenous protesters have taken over installations at its block 1AB facility in northern Peru, curbing production at that country's largest oil concession.
A spokeswoman from Pluspetrol's office in Lima said 70% of the property has been affected, resulting in a loss of production of more than 11,000 barrels of oil per day.
Indigenous residents in Peru's northern Amazon rain forest began protests on Monday over demands for meetings with high-level government officials to discuss issues related to public health, environmental contamination and oil taxes.
Pluspetrol said in a statement that it was open to participating in round table discussions to discuss the demands. It called on protesters to end their demonstration and participate in the talks.
The block 1AB concession has produced oil for about 40 years. It was previously owned by Occidental Petroleum Corporation before being taken over by Pluspetrol in 2001.
Pluspetrol produced on average 14,815 barrels of oil per day from block 1AB last year, according to the government. Peru is a small oil producer, pumping out almost 63,000 barrels of crude per day last year.
Peruvian oil companies have said that one of the main challenges they face to developing investment projects has been opposition from indigenous communities, who are often concerned about environmental pollution caused by the industry.
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