Lima – Spanish oil major Repsol-YPF's CEO said here that Peru has plenty of gas to supply the domestic market and meet export obligations and announced the company will invest up to $3 billion in the Andean nation over the next five years.
Antonio Brufau made the announcement after a four-hour meeting Thursday with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, Cabinet chief Salomon Lerner, Energy Minister Carlos Herrera and the head of state-owned Petroperu, Humberto Campodonico.
Repsol's top executive said in a press conference that the company was planning to invest between $2.5 billion and $3 billion through 2016 in gas exploration and production and the upgrading of its La Pampilla oil refinery.
Repsol thus far has invested nearly $3 billion in Peru in operations that include extracting and exporting gas from the massive Camisea field in the country's south, Brufau said.
He also termed "reasonable" the Peruvian government's request that the consortium developing Camisea, made up of Repsol, Pluspetrol, Hunt Oil and other firms, set aside gas from the project's Lot 88 for domestic consumption.
"We think there's more than enough gas, both proven and probable reserves .... Lot 88 can be set aside for the domestic market without jeopardizing exports," Brufau said.
The consortium has estimated Peru's gas reserves at 15.9 trillion cubic feet.
Brufau added that "if gas (for export) were lacking, it could come from Lot 57, Lot 58 and other lots" because "there's a great deal of gas in Peru."
Regarding whether gas from Lot 88 would be liberated for domestic use, Brufau said he told Lerner he would try to convince Repsol's partners to make that possibility a reality.
"I'm convinced that logic will prevail and the logic is that when there's a lot of gas and a portion is exported the rest must remain for the domestic market," he said.
Referring to Lima's plans to raise Repsol's royalty payments for exported gas, Brufau said talks were underway to reach a solution that is "satisfactory for the authorities" while allowing the companies "to operate profitably."
Repsol's CEO also said the company's exploration work at Lot 57 in Quinteroni, near Camisea, had been successful and that three new exploratory wells will be drilled there over the next year and a half to "help boost the country's gas reserves."