Canadian PetroTal restarts Peru crude production
By Lucien Chauvin and Monica Rojas /Argus
Petroleumworld 07 29 2020
Canadian independent PetroTal restarted crude production from its Bretaña field on block 95 in Peru's northern jungle but output will remain limited to 8,000 b/d until state-owned PetroPeru reopens its northern crude pipeline.
The 40mn bl field produced around 12,000 b/d on a test basis since 18 July, according to the hydrocarbons regulator PeruPetro.
PetroTal is currently shipping the crude via barge on the Ucayali river to the 12,000 b/d Iquitos refinery operated by state-owned PetroPeru. The refinery, which was closed temporarily since the pandemic outbreak and oil price crash in March, has storage capacity of 553,200 bl.
In March, PetroPeru held a first sale tender for 19-22°API Bretaña crude that it purchased from PetroTal. The tender, held on the heels of the pandemic and oil price crash, went unawarded. PetroPeru held a second tender in June, which Argus heard was awarded to a US west coast refiner.
PetroPeru suspended operations on its 100,000 b/d northern crude pipeline 1 May after oil producers started shutting in production. Companyt chairman Eduardo Guevara has told Argus that the pipeline will return to full operations in August.
Canada's Frontera uses the pipeline for its 10,000 b/d block 192, Argentina's Pluspetrol Norte for 5,000 b/d block 8, and France's Perenco for 1,300 b/d block 67. The three blocks remain closed.
China's state-owned CNPC is Peru's largest oil producer, with an average of 18,219 b/d from onshore blocks along the northern coast.
Peru was averaging 60,000 b/d of crude production prior to the onset of the pandemic in March. National output was just shy of 30,000 b/d in June.