The government must restore order in Loreto and end the acts of violence against the population and the oil installations

SPH press release

This is a machine translation of the original version published in Spanish

November 8, 2022

The Peruvian hydrocarbon industry group SPH warns of the serious situation of insecurity affecting Loreto, which jeopardizes not only the continuity of hydrocarbon activities, which is the main industry in this region, but also that of its population and calls on the national authorities to restore the rule of law and social peace.

The state-owned Norperuano Pipeline (ONP), considered an essential national asset, due to which it must receive special security treatment by law enforcement, has been paralyzed for more than 8 months, a suffered 12 attacks this year on its facilities, in which drills and other tools were even used, which damaged its structure and caused the spillage of crude oil, deliberately affecting water sources and ecosystems in the affected places.

The paralysis of the ONP makes it difficult to transport national oil production, which therefore has to be limited to river transport by barges, making logistics more expensive and reducing the revenue from the pipeline and the profitability of its operation.

Despite the seriousness of the events, to date neither the police nor the investigations of the prosecution have identified the material and intellectual perpetrators of these environmental crimes. It is inadmissible that, in some cases, the sanitation works carried out by Petroperú could not be carried out in due time, due to the opposition of the population itself, also affected by the attacks, who use these acts as a measure of pressure to be heard by the government. and that their basic needs are met.

What is happening in the district of Puinahua, in the province of Requena, is very serious. The Petrotal company, which operates lot 95 located in this area, has publicly denounced that an indigenous organization is inciting the use of arms and violence to prevent the development of its production activities and is threatening the population, which does not want to attach to these acts.

The absence of the authorities and the effective exercise of their functions allowed the seizure of passenger boats on the Marañón River, which were deprived of their liberty, and the blockade of the river transport of crude oil. It is worrying that the General Directorate of Captaincies and Coastguards of the Peruvian Navy, which is the country’s river authority, has not effectively fulfilled its mission “to ensure the safety of human life and suppress all illegal acts; exercise control and supervision of all activities carried out in the aquatic environment”, as declared and in accordance with the law.

SPH joins the call of the Indigenous Peoples Chamber of Commerce to reject violence and seek development without actions that could put people’s lives at risk.

We insist that the government must diligently and responsibly restore internal order to prevent criminal and violent acts against civil society and public and private property, meet the needs of the population of Loreto by properly using the resources generated by commercial activity, such as the oil industry which between October 2021 and September 2022 paid 214.7 million soles for the barrel of this region

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