Native protesters threaten to close more wells in Peru oil block
LIMA Feb 4 (Reuters) - Indigenous protesters plan to shut down more wells in Peru's biggest oil block unless operator Pluspetrol agrees to pay compensation for pollution on ancestral lands, a tribal leader said on Wednesday.
The Achuar community of Nuevo Jerusalen in Peru's Amazonian region Loreto gave Pluspetrol, an Argentine energy company, until Friday to respond to its demands, said Carlos Sandi, head of indigenous group Feconaco.
Another Achuar community, Pampa Hermosa, has already halted output of 3,100 barrels of oil per day since taking control of 14 oil wells in the block last week to press for payment for land use.
Talks that started on Monday between the protesters from Pampa Hermosa and Pluspetrol have broken down and the community remains in control of the 14 oil wells, Sandi said.
Pluspetrol was not immediately available to comment. It said last week that it was seeking dialogue to resolve the dispute.
The company produced some 15,000 bpd from block 1-AB in 2013, nearly a quarter of Peru's total output.
Its contract for the concession expires in August.
Oil block 1-AB has been the target of several indigenous protests in recent years.
The government declared environmental emergencies in the oil block several times in recent years because of high levels of pollution linked to spills and leaks.
(Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Christian Plumb)
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