INDIAN COMPANY RELIANCE PULLS OUT OF OIL BLOCK IN PERU'S AMAZON

Reliance Industries Limited has withdrawn from a deeply controversial oil and gas concession in Peru's remote Amazon near the border with Ecuador, according to its Annual Report 2016-2017. Reliance held 10% in Lot 39, where oil deposits are estimated to be larger than any other concession in the country but where for years operations have been opposed by indigenous federations and other civil society organisations because the region is inhabited by indigenous peoples in ‘isolation.’ An off-limits reserve proposed years ago by the regional indigenous federation, now called ORPIO, has never been established. Indian media reported the move as the latest example of the company trimming its overseas assets. How aware was Reliance, led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, about the potential consequences of Lot 39 operations and the human rights controversy surrounding them? The company’s partners were PetroVietnam (35%) and France- and UK-headquartered Perenco (55%), now slated to acquire Reliance's 10%. Perupetro's latest publicly available monthly report makes no reference to this. (13-07-2017)

David Hill