Occidental calls hearings to revive Peru's Block 64 exploration

By an OGJ correspondent

LIMA, Nov. 15 -- Occidental Exploradora del Peru Inc. is preparing to hold public hearings on an environmental impact assessment of its proposed exploration program on Block 64 in Peru's Marañon basin towards the end of November.

The block has been in force majeure since October 1996, when indigenous communities rejected oil companies in their areas.

The EIA covers plans to conduct a seismic survey, drill an exploratory well, and a possible confirmation well in the northwest corner of the block.

The hearings are to be held Nov. 22-25 at the Amazon National University postgraduate school in Iquitos, the town of San Lorenzo, and indigenous communities in the project's area. The company has published announcements in the towns and talked with the communities.

Occidental has been holding talks and workshops with the communities since the beginning of the year as well as visits to other areas where oil exploration and production is under way.

Occidental is the operator with 50% in Block 64 and 50% held jointly by its partners Burlington Resources Inc., Houston, and Spain's Repsol-YPF SA.

The Argentine-UK environmental company ERM Peru completed the EIA.

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