Peru, Shell Sign Accord to Study Gas Field
LIMA, Peru (AP) _ The Dutch-English oil company Shell has agreed to study the possibility of drilling Peru’s richest natural gas field, in the the Amazon jungle.
The agreement signed Friday night is for a joint venture between Shell International Petroleum and the state-owned oil company Petro-Peru to study and eventually explore gas and oil from the 526,100-acre area near Cuzco, 350 miles southeast of Lima.
Shell discovered the Camisea gas field in 1981, but work on the project was suspended in 1988 after leftist nationalists accused the government of turning over the country’s resources to foreigners.
The study is expected to take 14 months and officials said an exploration contract would probably not be signed until December 1995.
Petro-Peru is to invest $1 million in the study and Shell’s contribution will be at least that much, said Petro-Peru president Alberto Bruce. Bruce did not specify Shell’s exact investment, and copies of the contract were not immediately available.
The natural gas drawn from Camisea is expected to serve the populated Pacific coast area of Peru, including Lima. It may also eventually be sold to Brazil and to cities on the west coast of the United States, officials said.