Peru: Indigenous groups allege lack of consultation in GeoPark’s oil concession overlapping their lands; with company comments

Author: Amazon Watch, Published on: 31 July 2018

“Indigenous Federation to GeoPark: Peru Project a Big Risk” July 26, 2018

A federation of indigenous communities deep in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest affirmed its rejection of planned oil operations in its ancestral territory ahead of Friday's annual shareholder meeting of GeoPark (GPRK). The Chile-based oil company currently holds a license to explore in Peru's Block 64, which overlaps a significant part of Achuar ancestral territory in the Pastaza River Basin. The federation, known as FENAP, also accuses GeoPark of fomenting conflict among indigenous communities in the area…

FENAP renewed its request for the courts to annul Block 64 for having been created in 1995 without consultation or the consent of the Achuar communities there. The lawsuit represents a clear and present legal risk for GeoPark, especially in light of a court-ordered cancelation in 2017 of contracts for Block 116, held by Maurel Et Prom (France) and Pacific [now Frontera Energy] (Canada), on similar grounds…

GeoPark announced, in its Second Quarter 2018 Operational Update, that it had "completed the [environmental impact statement] to initiate operations in the Situche Central oil field in the Morona block," and affirmed that it had submitted the document to the National Environmental Certification Service on July 2, 2018, "after more than a year of collecting data, and in which local communities were also involved."…

However, GeoPark has failed to acknowledge FENAP's opposition, as well as the history of failed oil operations in Block 64 (referred to by GeoPark as the "Morona Block"). In fact, three oil companies - Talisman, Occidental, and ARCO - have all tried and failed to initiate operations in Block 64 in years past, due in no small part to Achuar opposition…Companies like GeoPark would not have the capital to carry out operations like the one in Block 64 were it not for financing from U.S.-based financial institutions like JPMorgan Chase and BlackRock. Amazon Watch research documented that these institutions have substantial holdings in GeoPark and other oil companies attempting to drill for oil in the Amazon rainforest, and explained the significant climate, indigenous rights, and financial risks of this financing...

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Related companies: BlackRock Frontera Energy (former Pacific Exploration & Production) GeoPark (oil and gas) JPMorgan Chase Maurel & Prom Pacific Exploration & Production (Now Frontera Energy)