UPDATE 2-Peru to review Pluspetrol contract after deadly protests

jueves 12 de febrero de 2015 19:00 GYT

(Adds company reaction and comment from Interior Ministry)

LIMA Feb 12 (Reuters) - Peru will evaluate a natural gas contract it signed with Pluspetrol in 2005 and is asking the Argentine company to leave a restive Amazonian town following deadly protests there, the government said on Thursday.

Pluspetrol started exploratory activities in natural gas block 108 last year, upsetting locals in the town of Pichanaki who fear it will lead to pollution and hurt farming.

Energy and Mines Minister Eleodoro Mayorga said he believes the company has complied with its contract for developing block 108 but that the government must make sure.

"That contract must be evaluated," Mayorga said on state television from Pichanaki, which is located in Peru's Amazonian region of Junin.

"I would like to know about advances that have been made, and if they've been made with all the permits this type of work requires," Mayorga said.

Mayorga traveled to Pichanaki to calm tensions after street protests against the company left one young man dead and dozens injured on Tuesday.

The Interior Ministry said it is investigating the illegal use of firearms by police personnel during the demonstrations.

Pluspetrol said in a statement that it has met all legal, environmental and social requirements for exploratory work in block 108, including more than 2,000 agreements with farmers and communities.   Continuación...