Peru Govt. Auctions Off 17 New Oil, Gas Lots

LIMA (Dow Jones Newswires), September 10, 2008

Peru's government has auctioned off 17 new oil and gas blocks, part of its push to explore for new hydrocarbon resources both on and offshore.

Peru's state oil company PetroPeru SA won six concessions -- four offshore and two onshore -- forming ventures with companies from three continents to return to hydrocarbon exploration after nearly two decades.

PetroPeru has teamed up with Argentina's Pluspetrol SA, India's Reliance Industries Ltd., and China National Petroleum Corp., or CNPC, to explore for gas in Block 155 in the southern highland department of Puno, near the Bolivian border.

The Company has also formed a consortium with Norway's Discover Petroleum to explore in four offshore blocks and one in Peru's jungle.

On the sidelines of a ceremony announcing the auction's winners, Daniel Saba, Chairman of Perupetro, the state oil and gas concession licensing agency, told Dow Jones Newswires that more contracts could be awarded by the end of the year.

The agency originally offered 22 oil and gas lots, but received bids for only 17.

He said that Petroperu is evaluating one-on-one deals with some companies for the remaining lots, and that another auction won't be called until the government finishes evaluating any new offers. 

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