LIMA (Dow Jones Newswires), Aug. 14, 2009
Peruvian Energy and Mines Minister Pedro Sanchez late Thursday denied claims that the country doesn't have sufficient natural gas reserves to supply a new pipeline in the southern Andes.
Following a meeting with regional government leaders from four southern Andean states, who had earlier expressed worry that Peru lacks natural gas supply for the South Andean pipeline, Sanchez said there are sufficient reserves in the Camisea fields to fuel the project.
He added that explorations are also under way for additional gas reserves near the Camsiea fields.
According to Argentine oil company Pluspetrol, head of the consortium that runs the Camisea fields, reserves in the project's blocks, 88 and 56, in Peru's southern jungle, total 8.8 trillion cubic feet. The company, however, projects total reserves of 14.1 tcf.
Kuntur, a subsidiary of private-equity company Conduit Capital Partners LLC, signed a contract with the government last year for the construction of the $1.35 billion 675-mile pipeline that will run from Peru's Camisea gas fields to the southern highland departments of Puno, Arequipa and Moquegua.
Sanchez said he expects the company to present its environmental-impact study in January and that operations should begin in 2012.
Gas and liquids are currently shipped from the jungle region to a plant near Pisco on the Pacific coast and then on to the capital of Lima and elsewhere.
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