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  • Peru produced 127,000 barrels of oil per day in 2017, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

    Peru produced 127,000 barrels of oil per day in 2017, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. | Photo: EFE

Published 18 December 2018

Some 8,000 barrels of oil spilled into the Amazon after Indigenous activists attacked a pipeline in Chapis, Peru.

After a month of protests, experts will be allowed to enter the Loreto region to clean up a large oil spill, after Indigenous leaders and Peruvian state oil officials reached an agreement Tuesday.

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Late last month, some 8,000 barrels of oil spilled into the Amazon after activists in the Chapis village allegedly cut the pipeline and erected blockades to prevent technical personnel from entering the controversial project.

Armed with spears, at least a hundred Chapis Indigenous protesters demanded changes to the pipeline’s northern branch, a heavy metals toxicological study plan, the installation of public institutions for the development of native peoples and funds for develop the production of tropical fruits.

The rupture of the pipeline caused that the Canadian Frontera Energy stopped its production in lot 192 - the largest oil tanker in Peru - until the authorities resolved the dispute.

A leak ensued shortly afterwards, however officials say they will be meeting with community heads and members of the contract company Kanay, to evaluate the damage and the strategize a plan of action, suitable to both parties.

According to the agreement signed by representatives of the community of Chapis, the Ministry of Energy and Mines and Petroperu, "the leaders are committed to refrain from hostile actions that may damage Petroperu's assets and allow the completion of remediation activities," Petroperu said in a statement.

"In this way, the company and the community reaffirmed their 'relationship' and their commitment to dialogue in the interest of the development of the region and the country," the statement said.

The Norperuano Pipeline operates since 1977 and transports the oil extracted in the Peruvian jungle to the port terminal of Bayóvar, in the Pacific Ocean, through 1,106 kilometers of pipelines that cross the Amazon and the Andes mountain range.

Since early 2016, around 20,000 barrels of oil have been spilled from the pipeline for at least 15 attacks, and another 5,600 barrels have leaked due to corrosion or operational failures, according to official estimates.

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