Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Dallas Morning News Gets a Few Facts Wrong

The Dallas Morning News published an article by Jim Landers "Hunt Oil Making Big Play in Peru." The article gets some basic facts right about the project, but makes many blunders, too. A few inaccuracies:

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.

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