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Perenco to invest $2 bln in Peru oil deal

By AFP

French oil company Perenco will invest more than two billion dollars in a deal in Peru, its chief announced Friday.

Perenco chief Francois Perrodo, after a meeting with President Alan Garcia, said hopes were high for a field the company agreed to develop. The area, known as the government's lot 67, is in the Maranon River basin, in Peru's northeast.

The investment was roughly double what the company had forecast, 1.03 billion dollars, state news agency Andina noted.

However, the announcement came after a heated protest by indigenous groups against oil companies including Perenco, according to Survival International, a group defending native rights.

In a statement, Survival International said two Perenco ships this week broke through a blockade on a tributary of the Amazon river in Peru put in place to protest the alleged encroachment of oil companies on indigenous land.

The group said shots were allegedly fired at Peruvian Indians who chased after the Perenco vessels, without hitting them.

Lot 67 includes the Paiche, Dorado and Pirana oil reserves with estimated reserves of some 300 million barrels of oil. Their total production potential is estimated at 100,000 barrels per day.

Perrodo said production was expected to start in 2013.

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