Argentina's Pluspetrol denied that it planned to explore for natural gas in Peru's Manu National Park, an ecologically diverse area located between the southern regions of Cuzco and Madre de Dios.

Peruvian media reported the Argentine energy company's interest in the area, citing a story published in Britain's Guardian newspaper about Pluspetrol's plans for gas exploration in Manu.

The media reports said Pluspetrol was moving forward with its plans even though Peruvian officials rejected a permit application in March 2012 because extractive activities were prohibited in national parks.

"An energy company is eyeing up the gas reserves of a national park in the Peruvian Amazon whose biodiversity Unesco says 'exceeds that of any other place on Earth' and is home to indigenous people who have no regular contact with the outside world," The Guardian reported on Monday, citing a leaked document to which it had access.

"Extractive activities have not been carried out nor are they planned outside the concession area," Pluspetrol, the operator for the Camisea gas consortium, said in a statement.

The government upheld an $11.37 million fine against Pluspetrol on Jan. 16 for violating environmental regulations in the Amazon's Pacaya Samiria reserve. EFE