PetroTal aims to restart Peru oilfield by end of August after protester deaths

Calgary-based PetroTal Corp. says it expects to restart production by month’s end at its Bretana oilfield in Peru after it was closed last week due to violent civil unrest.

The company, which trades on the TSX Venture Exchange, says things are progressing well with an inquiry into incidents which resulted in the deaths of three Indigenous Amazonian protesters and multiple injuries and that talks have been positive between the government and protesters.

It says Indigenous protesters allowed operations to restart this week at the national oil company’s Northern Oil Pipeline after earlier occupying one of its pump stations to demand assistance and medical support to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

PetroTal said the pump station incident led to the stationing of police officers at its work camp to provide enhanced security and the violence erupted when an armed group of protesters confronted the police.

Tensions have been high in Peru as the country has surpassed half a million coronavirus cases. More than 26,000 people have died — the highest fatality rate in Latin America. 

PetroTal reported on Tuesday that second-quarter revenue fell to $9.8 million US on production of 4,200 barrels of oil per day from $41.8 million US and 9,700 bpd in the first quarter.

It said it had closed the oilfield from May 7 to July 15 due to the global oil price collapse and government measures to prevent spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to its website, PetroTal is the second-largest crude oil producer in Peru, with 2019 exit production of 13,300 barrels per day and a target to reach 20,000 bpd this year. It is domiciled in Calgary but lists its Houston office as its head office.

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