The president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, asked Congress on Tuesday to work together on a law on the nationalization of Camisea gas, the largest reserve of this resource in national territory, located in Cusco (south).
During a working visit to Bagua Grande (Utcubamba province, Amazonas department, north), the president said that he had just "signed the supreme decree on the recovery of gas," based on the need to "give Peruvians what the people have produced," he said.
Peru Considers Nationalization of Camisea Gas Field
Previously, he had made known through Twitter that massifying gas and building the pipeline to take it to the south of the country is a priority of his government.
In this sense, he specified that he would start the development of the relevant infrastructure "in the regions of Cusco, Puno, Apurímac, Arequipa, Moquegua, Tacna, Ayacucho and Ucayali," with the idea of bringing inexpensive gas to homes.
He added that in parallel, the government would renegotiate the contract to operate the Camisea field, which is currently in the hands of private companies.
In another message published on Twitter, the head of state specified that "we are and will be respectful of the freedom of enterprise."
Previously, he had clarified that nationalization is understood as the control of the destination and use of natural gas extracted from the subsoil and national patrimony.
Castillo's statements about the priority that his government gives to the social use of this resource have been attacked by business sectors, which allege that its nationalization will drive away investors.
For their part, the hegemonic media present them as contradictory to Castillo's Cabinet's statements.
In this case, they quote the Minister of Economy and Finance, Pedro Francke, who last August stated that the Executive is not going to "expropriate Camisea's gas; therefore private companies will continue to exploit it."
Camisea, one of the most important gas fields in Latin America, is operated by a consortium led by the private company Pluspetrol, whose minor partners are the South Korean company SK Group, the US company Hunt Oil and the Spanish company Repsol SA.
According to the media, half of the gas extracted in Camisea is exported. In contrast, the other half is used in the domestic (particularly in Lima, the capital) and industrial sectors, in the latter case to generate electricity and other uses.
The current Peruvian Constitution dates from 1993 and is markedly neoliberal in nature. It stipulates that private companies can only be nationalized with the approval of Congress.