Repsol YPF to Invest up to US$67mn in Peru in 2004

Spanish oil company Repsol YPF plans to invest US$65mn-67mn in Peru in 2004, newspaper Gestion quoted Repsol YPF's Peru president Jose Manuel Prieto as saying.

Investment in the US$80mn upgrade of the La Pampilla refinery will be US$50mn this year, with the investment balance going on exploration activities on four blocks. The upstream work will focus on blocks 57, 90, 80 and 39, the newspaper quoted Repsol YPF's exploration manager Gabriel Leret as saying.

The company plans to start seismic on block 39 in Peru's Maranon river basin on the border with Ecuador in April-May and start drilling its first well in the second half of 2004. At La Pampilla, where Repsol YPF has invested US$250mn since 1996, the company aims to improve the quality of refined products and substitute expensive imports, Repsol YPF spokesperson Jose Luis Ibarra told BNamericas.

Most of the financing for the project will come from La Pampilla's two "highly successful" bond issues, each for US$25mn, completed in the last three months, Ibarra said. La Pampilla's results in 2003 were "minuscule" compared to 2002 due to lower demand and the difference between international and domestic prices, Prieto said. Ibarra would not elaborate on the refinery's results.

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