Peru eyes pulling Petroperu's 25 pct stake in two oil blocks -union

miércoles 25 de marzo de 2015 21:28 GYT

By Mitra Taj

LIMA, March 25 (Reuters) - Peru wants to cancel state-run energy firm Petroperu's 25 percent stake in two oil blocks that it had planned to develop with conglomerate Grana y Montero, a union leader and industry insider said Wednesday.

A reversal would mark a shift in President Ollanta Humala's ambitions for Petroperu to take part in oil production for the first time in more than two decades.

Petroperu signed an agreement with Grana y Montero in February to take a 25 percent share in oil blocks 3 and 4.

"Everything was ready ... but the minister wants to take away Petroperu's opportunity to participate," said Juan Castillo, a senior leader of Petroperu's workers' union who sometimes sits on its board.

An industry insider following the discussions also said the government wanted to relinquish its stakes.

"The energy and mines minister wants Petroperu to back out of these contracts," the industry source said.

Minister Rosa Maria Ortiz, who joined the cabinet last month, told Petroperu that its partnership in blocks 3 and 4 violates legislation that requires the company to prioritize a $3.5 billion upgrade of its Talara refinery, Castillo said.

The ministry did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Grana y Montero declined to comment.   Continuación...