PetroTal facing 'illegal and violent' river blockade
Oil and gas company PetroTal is facing an “illegal and violent” river blockade by the Indigenous Association for Development and Conservation of Bajo Puinahua (AIDECOBAP), it announced on Thursday.
The AIM-traded firm said the blockade, which began on 3 June, was targeting vessels that provide services to PetroTal, including oil transport barges and vessels carrying essential camp supplies.
It said AIDECOBAP's actions were not only illegal, but also posed a threat to the safety and lives of the vessel crew and local residents.
Despite recently-signed agreements aimed at promoting transparency and community participation in the allocation of social fund resources, the board postured that the blockade disregarded those efforts.
PetroTal said it had already accumulated more than $8m in a restricted bank account, which was intended for the benefit of the local community.
Additionally, due to the ongoing blockade, PetroTal said it was incurring substantial financial losses.
During periods of social-related downtime, the company said it was forfeiting over $50,000 per day from future trust allocations.
PetroTal said it was calling for an immediate and peaceful end to the blockade, urging AIDECOBAP to honour the agreement and engage in constructive dialogue to resolve any outstanding issues.
“This river access disruption coincides with planned production reductions that will allow the company to tie-in previously-installed infrastructure and modify production operations that will economically benefit future oil production,” the PetroTal board said in its statement.
“June month-to-date oil production has averaged approximately 10,000 barrels of oil per day prior to the field installation work, commencing 8 June, where the field will be shut in for approximately five days.
“The company's 2023 oil production forecast included this planned downtime and a 5% social downtime contingency in its 2023 guidance to allow for social disruption.”
At 0941 BST, shares in PetroTal Corporation were down 2.38% at 41p.
Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.