Occidental Negotiating for Block 101 in Peru

US oil company Occidental is negotiating with Peru's state hydrocarbons investment agency Perupetro for an exploration and production contract on block 101 in northern Peru's Maranon basin, a Perupetro spokesperson told BNamericas.

The required investment for the 800,000ha block is still being discussed, the spokesperson said, adding Perupetro aims to reach an agreement by year-end, and then seek a decree to approve the contract in early 2004. "For the moment [Occidental] is alone, but they could bring in other partners later," the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Perupetro plans to sign a contract with Spain's Repsol YPF in the first week of December for block 90 in the eastern Ucayali basin, after President Alejandro Toledo issued a decree approving the contract in October, the spokesperson said.

Repsol YPF is expected to invest some US$100mn to explore for oil and gas in blocks 57 and 90 in Ucayali over the next seven years. The Spanish firm will partner the US's Burlington Resources on block 57, which is near the Camisea gas field, but the contract must first be approved by decree. Perupetro has also negotiated contracts with Houston-based BPZ for Area XIX in Tumbes department, in the north of the country, and local company Compania Consultora de Petroleo (CCP) for block 100 in the Maranon basin.

The state hydrocarbons investment agency expects to receive decrees approving the contracts on blocks 57, XIX and 100 by year-end, the spokesperson said.

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