CNPC to invest US$2b in Peru over next 10 years
Reuters in Lima, Peru
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) expects to invest at least US$2 billion in Peru over the next 10 years, after having recently bought Petrobras’ assets in the country, a top CNPC executive said on Tuesday.
“We are looking for more opportunities in Peru, to acquire companies or to participate in the bidding for oil fields,” Gong Bencai, head of CNPC’s Latin America division, said in an interview at the energy giant’s Lima offices.
Peru has already approved an environmental permit allowing CNPC to conduct US$1 billion of exploratory work in a natural gas block purchased from Petrobras, the Brazilian state-run oil company. More investment is likely on the way, Gong said.
In particular, he said, China’s top oil producer is eyeing a US$4 billion gas pipeline project in southern Peru.
“We are very interested in the southern pipeline,” Gong said.
The pipeline would transport natural gas from the Andean Camisea deposit to thermoelectric plants on Peru’s Pacific coast.
Petrobras has said its exit from Peru is part of a broader plan aimed at divesting billions in foreign assets to focus on massive offshore deposits in Brazil.
CNPC has expanded is presence in Latin America over recent years as the world’s No. 2 economy reaches out to lock in the natural resources needed for future growth.
The company also has operations in Colombia, Ecuador, Cuba, Brazil, Costa Rica and the region’s oil-producing heavyweight, Venezuela.
“In Venezuela, we are negotiating with the government for new blocks there,” Gong said, declining to give details.