Thursday, November 02, 2006
The committee is tasked with developing and action plan that includes:
Improving the Camisea Fund, aka FOCAM;
Improving compensation and indemnity procedures for affected communities;
Improve legal access in relation to defense of protected areas and indigenous territorial reserves;
Increase the presence of the government in the project area in support of an integrated monitoring plan;
Support the Protection Plan for the Nahua Kugakapori Reserve for Indigenous Peoples living in voluntary isolation;
Implement mechanisms for participatory sustainable development in the Lower Urubamba valley;
Ensure adequate resources for protected areas;
Improve communication with civil society in the areas of influence of the project; and
Strengthen the function of PROPARACAS.
This committee is forming at the same time that the IDB is contracting ICF International to carry out its own four-month environmental and social audit of the Camisea project.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
The hearing room was packed with InterAmerican Development Bank staff, press, and many NGO's tracking the project.
The most impressive quote came from Lowry who told the committee, "We are of the view Camisea has not been a success. It could have been better designed." He also said, as quoted in Reuters:
"The IADB's role is to catalyze, not fill gaps in financing," Lowery said. "Because they came in late in the game they were not involved in the environmental and social safeguards," he added. "As to how the United States will vote, or look at Camisea 2, we haven't decided yet."
"The IADB does have fairly significant resources in terms of environmental and compliance issues. Where they probably made mistakes on Camisea 1 was underestimating how much it would take to make the project work,"
Herrera, who signed the original contracts with the Camisea consortium when he was Peru'[s Energy Minister said that the development of Camisea II (export phase) should not come at the cost of this original objective of Camisea I which was energy security for Peru.
Quijandria's testimony seemed to be taken verbatim from the IDB's propaganda on the project. He described the project as "the largest and mowt complex project in Peru's history" and attrributed it to lowering energy prices in Peru.
The real story is more complex. End consumer energy prices in Peru were held artificially low in Peru while Quijandria was Energy Minister, and so producers lost money and stop generating, creating an energy crisis. In fact, little of Peru's energy infrastructure is built to operate with natural gas, an excuse project sponsors have used to justify its export. However, by the time natural gas infrastructure is developed in Peru, export will be well on its way and Peru could ironically wind-up importing gas at world prices.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
The article claims that NGO Amazon Watch "hired engineers who said the pipe steel and welds were defective." This refers to a study done by the NGO E-Tech International, that was not paid for by Amazon Watch.
According to the article, Barbara Bruce, Hunt's general manager of Peru LNG said, "the first of five leaks in the gas liquids line was caused by a weak weld." In the next paragraph, the article states that the companies insist that the welds are not fault and that the Inter-American Development Bank's auditors have found no problems so far with the quality of the pipe.
The map incorrectly shows the new pipeline (blue) will be constructed going from the Amazon region (Campo Las Malvinas), to the coast at Pampa Melchorita. In fact, the companies indicate that they are not laying a new pipeline in the Amazon region because of the environmental risks.
Of the existing pipeline, the article claims that they "were built in the six-month dry season of 2003-04." Actually, the right-of-way for much of the pipeline in the Amazon region was cleared in 2002. Because of delays in construction, some areas of the pipeline were subjected to two rainy seasons before they were reforested, resulting in excess erosion documented here.
According to Carlos Abanto of the Lima-based association, Labor. He never said: "If the IDB participates, it will be much better." as was quoted in the article. He did say that the IDB claims its participation in the project to be a guarantee for the project, but that this has not occurred as evidences by the spills, community problems, and contamination.
Some other interesting quotes from the article:
About 600 people are now walking the line to identify weak points, clear them out and clean them out," said Ms. Bruce.
But I think the consortium is a very responsible group of guys. ... In the end, Hunt will do well here." Prime Minister Pedro-Pablo Kuczynski who is a former advisor to Hunt Oil.
Mr. Garcia met with Hunt officials last week, and endorsed the Camisea project "wholeheartedly," Steve Suellentrop, Hunt Oil.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Article in La Republica (in Spanish)
Friday, June 16, 2006
The oil companies argue that Camisea is clearly Peru's golden goose. And there is much more to come.
Hunt Oil has the lead for the next big expansion from Camisea, which will be a $2.5 billion liquefied natural gas export project. A new pipeline across the Andes will deliver the gas to a Pacific coast liquefaction plant, where superchilled tankers will take the LNG to markets in Mexico and California.
That will mean a lot more money for Peru. It will also, of course, make money for Hunt and its LNG partners in Spain, South Korea and France.
Article in the Dallas Morning News
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Thursday, May 25, 2006
“A project of this size can expect to have some challenges,” says Jeanne Phillips, the company’s senior vice president of corporate affairs and international relations, who chaired President Bush’s 2005 inaugural committee.
We’re not worried,” says Phillips, the Hunt vice president. “We’re working with the IDB and many nongovernmental organizations to ensure that the Peru LNG project is very aggressive and progressive on the environmental front as well as the social-responsibility front.”
Not sure which NGO's Phillips is referring to.
Monday, May 08, 2006
From April 23-25, 2006 a delegation organized by Oxfam America and including the Wallace Global Fund, the US Catholic Bishops' Conference, World Wildlife Fund Peru, Escuela para el Desarrollo, the Consejo Machiguenga del Rio Urubamba (COMARU), the Central de Comunidades Nativas Machiguengas (CECONAMA) and Amazon
The delegation found disagreement between the company claims of strong environmental protections and social sensitivity and the reports from indigenous community members that the project that had contaminated their water sources, affected nutrition, and left little local benefit. Machiguenga communities in the area complain that the project has left them without fish in the rivers to eat and disrupted their traditional lifestyles.
The communities also expressed great dissatisfaction with the process of negotiating with companies for the use of their territories. They were particularly critical of pipeline consortium, Transportadora de Gas
The presence of federal government regulation in the project is weak and is perceived by local communities as unfairly supporting company interests. Meanwhile, health and education needs are unmet in the
Thursday, April 06, 2006
María Elena Foronda, President of Peru's National Environment Society (Sociedad Nacional del Ambiente) is calling on Peru's government accounting office to look into how this money was spent considering the serious environemtnal adn social impacts of the project.
Peru's Grupo Técnico de Coordinación Interinstitucional (GTCI) is the entity formed in 2002 to administer these resources and consisits of 12 agencies. according to their website their last activities were in March of 2005. GTCI did not respond to La Republica's request for an interview.
Article in La Republica (Spanish)
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Bill Powers, E-Tech engineer, has responded saying that this change in the audit cannot guarantee its transparency. He also pointed out that the IDB's loan conditions requiered an independent monitoring system but that the IDB has been too controlling of the design of the system and has guaranteed it's failure by only offering $40,000 to pay for it.
Interview in El Comercio with Bill Powers (Spanish)
Monday, March 27, 2006
Friday, March 24, 2006
El Comercio Article (in Spanish)
Thursday, March 23, 2006
El 4 de marzo, el gasoducto de Camisea en Perú presentó otra vez derrames, esta vez en el asentimiento indígena de Kepashiato. El gasoducto estaba transportando gas natural (líquido) y la explosión prendió fuego a un campo y a una casa, y dejó varias personas con quemaduras de segundo grado. Este último derrame es el quinto desastre que ha ocurrido en un período de solamente 18 meses de operaciones, y el tercer incidente que ha ocurrido en esta región sensible de la Amazonía.
Desde el inicio del proyecto Camisea, organizaciones indígenas y no-gubernamentales han criticado públicamente al proyecto de gas natural debido a las normas ambientales y sociales tan endebles para estas áreas de alta sensibilidad. De hecho, pocos días antes del derrame, el 27 de febrero, un asesor ambiental de una organización sin ánimo de lucro en los EEUU, E-Tech International, publicó un informe que detalla muchas faltas en la ingeniería por parte de la empresa que construyó el gasoducto, Transportadora de Gas de Perú (TGP). Entre los problemas señalados se encuentra el uso de restos de tubos oxidados, la construcción de muy mala calidad en las áreas de terrenos empinados, y la utiliza de soldadores no calificados.
La prensa peruana mencionó un posible conflicto de intereses involucrando al Primer Ministro actual, Pedro Pablo Kuzynski, quien ha servido en la junta directiva dela constructora del gasoducto, Techint, ha servido como asesor para el socio de TGP, Hunt Oil, y trabajó como asesor para el Banco InterAmericano de Desarrollo cuando decidió apoyar el proyecto.
Las dudas sobre la integridad del gasoducto llegan en momentos de expansión de la exploración de hidrocarburos en la región de Baja Urubamba en Perú, que incluye el Bloque 56, cerca de Camisea. La producción que sale de este bloque dependería también del gasoducto de Camisea, aumentaría la presión y la posibilidad de fugas y derrames. Para conseguir más información, contáctese con COMARU (email@example.com).
On March 4, Peru’s Camisea pipeline ruptured and spilled yet again, this time in the indigenous settlement of Kepashiato. The pipe was transporting liquid natural gas, and its explosion set a field and a home on fire, and left several people with 2nd degree burns. This most recent spill is the fifth pipeline disaster to occur in only 18 months of operation, and the third incident to take place in the sensitive Amazon region.
Since the Camisea project’s inception, indigenous and non-governmental organizations have publicly criticized the natural gas project for its lax environmental and social standards and damaging impacts. In fact, only days before the spill, on February 27, the US non-profit environmental consultant E-Tech International released a report accusing the pipeline construction company Transportadora de Gas Peru (TGP) of a host of engineering shortfalls. Problems included the use of leftover, oxidized pipe, shoddy construction in areas of steep terrain, and the employment of unqualified welders.
Further fueling the controversy, the Peruvian press recently suggested a potential conflict of interest involving Peru’s current Prime Minister, Pedro Pablo Kuzynski. Kuzynski has served on the board of pipeline manufacturer Techint, he has been an advisor to TGP partner Hunt Oil, and he worked as a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank when it decided to finance the pipeline.
Doubts about the pipeline’s integrity come at a time of expansion of hydrocarbon exploration in Peru’s Lower Urubamba region, including into neighboring Block 56. Production from this block would also rely on the troublesome Camisea pipeline, increasing pressure and the potential for leaks and spills. For more information contact COMARU: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lima, Mar 22 (Prensa Latina) Peru plans to award seven contracts in April, for a total 350 million dollars, for oil exploitation and exploration.
Mines and Energy Minister Glodomiro Sanchez said one of these contracts is already functioning and the others are awaiting the signature of President Alejandro Toledo.
The minister pointed out that four contracts will be signed between State Perupetro and the US Amerada Hess Corporation, which will explore in Ucayali and Loreto departments, in the country´s northeast and central regions.
He said that by the end of the year, Hunt Oil will confirm the natural gas reserve in Pagoreni near Camisea, recently in the headlines for pipeline explosions.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
El Comercio reports today that within a month a company will be selected to carry out the audit. A technical group will be formed to choose the contractor which will be comprised of MEM, OSINERG (also part of MEM) and one independent representative.
In same article, OSINERG suggests that TGP might respond later this week concerning payment of the more than US$ 900,000 levied against them for previous spills and erosion during pipeline construction.
Monday, March 20, 2006
The indigenous organization, AIDESEP, issued the following proclamation after the fifth Camisea spill. (English Translation).
Declaration of the Interethnic Association on the Development of the Peruvian Amazon (AIDESEP)
CAMISEA Project Demonstrates Lack of Planning: Attempt on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Aware of the current situation facing our peoples, the Interethnic Association on the Development of the Peruvian Jungle (AIDESEP) – the organization that defends and promotes the rights of indigenous peoples in the Peruvian Amazon – expresses the following:
The concurrence of the electoral process, the release of a report by a foreign monitoring company in Washington, and a new spill – which the area suffered yesterday, on March 4, 2006 – have revealed the difficult situation the Machiguenga and other indigenous peoples face and has made the press and the public question these circumstances. This reaction is due to more than just awareness of deficient environmental management, inadequate supervision, and the irresponsibility of officials from diverse institutions created to monitor the development of the CAMISEA gas mega project. It is also a result of having been the target of deception on the part of the concession company.
To avoid [late] penalties outlined in the concession contract, the company installed the liquid natural gas (LNG) pipeline haphazardly and irresponsibly, without proper safeguards, and clearly without the supervision or verification of relevant state agencies as well. It is possible to arrive at these conclusions simply through technical observation of the successive failures of the pipeline. Nevertheless, we should reiterate that we previously warned of the grave dangers posed by this project’s implementation. The ecological balance is at stake, but also principally the life and health of the Nanti, Nahua, Kugapakori, Machiguenga and other indigenous groups. We are concerned not only about these native communities but also about the groups living in voluntary isolation, one third of whose territory is superimposed upon by the Camisea gas concession.
These situations are developing as we enter the third millennium, when Peru, through R. Legislative 26253, ratified and approved ILO Convention No. 169 concerning Indigenous and Tribal and Peoples in Independent Countries. During the same period, the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People was declared and adopted by the United Nations to direct effective attention to related challenges and guarantee indigenous participation at diverse levels of decision-making within State Parties. On November 24, 2004, States signed the Brazilian Declaration, and attending States made additional agreements concretizing the rights of indigenous peoples. While all these agreements are full of good intentions, they are not being applied here, much less are they recognized by the majority of Peruvian State officials. This is evident in the current reality of indigenous politics, which lacks consultation, and the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent of indigenous peoples to policies, legislative and administrative measures, programs, or projects that affect them.
Faced with such omissions, indifference, and carelessness, we, as indigenous peoples, have already lost confidence in the efficacy of the democratic system. In many cases, we have already witnessed direct attacks against collective indigenous rights in the imposition of “negotiable” grids as concessions over ancestral indigenous territories. This is a widespread problem despite severe penalties decreed by the current government.
The fact is that our peoples don’t believe the judicial system will help us resolve this problematic situation. For example, the company, which has been fined four times, still – to this day – has not paid, because it hopes to find the legal ruse needed to challenge the fines and move from an administrative venue to the courts. Despite this, the agencies responsible for environmental matters have not deigned to issue a denouncement, much less the magistrates at the Public Ministry’s office, even to prevent the crime of causing actual or potential environmental harms. The exception is the Ombudsman’s Office, which has recently released a report about the grave effects on the rights of indigenous peoples.
Considering this situation, AIDESEP demands the following:
1. The immediate suspension of the Camisea Gas project (equally important, the General Control of the Republic should intervene in order to verify fulfillment of the functions of OSINERG, INRENA, CONAM, DIGESA, DGAA of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the CAMISEA DEFENSE, INDEPA and GTCI).
2. That an audit of the entire pipeline is carried out and a definitive suspension of the Camisea gas project is announced.
3. That, in consideration of the company’s grave breach of contract provisions, lack of ethics, trickery, and its overvaluation of material and expenses, Plus Petrol’s concession be made null and void.
4. That the Energy Tax law is modified so that communities whose natural resources are extracted can directly enjoy resulting benefits.
5. That the government stipulates that enforcement of fines against companies violating the law will occur within a certain timeframe and responsibility will not lift if there isn’t an effective deposit of the entire amount. Moreover, that said amounts will be turned directly over to affected communities.
Through this declaration the indigenous organization AIDESEP reiterates the aforementioned conclusions and demands to national state agencies, the IDB, NGOs of the world, and the press. There has been a lack of attention, recognition, and respect for the collective human rights of indigenous peoples, as well as State exploitation of natural resources inside our ancestral territories – territories we possessed long before colonization and formation of the current national State. In light of this, we declare our lands – the soils and subsoils – as defined within internal agreements made during AIDESEP’s 20th National Congress and the Second Continental Summit of the indigenous peoples ABYA YALA and others, to be as they always have been: imprescriptible, inalienable, unembargoable, and unexpropriable.
Leadership Council of AIDESEP
The ProInversion Board consists of 7 ministers, one of whom is Peru's Prime Minister, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, consultant to Hunt Oil and formerly on the board of TGP shareholder Tenaris. He also worked for the InterAmerican Development Bank which financed the Camisea pipeline.
Article in Spanish
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Camisea is Peru's largest hydrocarbon project, an effort to pump and pipe 11 trillion cubic feet of natural gas from the Amazon to the Coast. It is also an extremely destructive project that has brought environmental devastation and disease to indigenous peoples in the Amazon, some of which have had little or no contact with the outside world.
I have been following the Camisea project since 1996 when I worked in the region with the Peruvian NGO, CEDIA and the local indigenous organization, COMARU.
I plan to use this Blog to post news, reports, and other observations about the project. I look forward to your comments as well.