LIMA Dec 15 Natural gas workers in Peru plan to
hold an indefinite strike starting Dec. 29 that would disrupt
production of the widely-used fuel as well as Royal Dutch Shell
Plc's liquefied natural gas exports, the union
SUTRAPPEC said Thursday.
Some 200 unionized workers needed to operate Peru's Camisea
gas fields will down tools to press Argentine energy company
Pluspetrol to offer better wages and benefits in a new labor
agreement, said SUTRAPPEC spokesman Juan Carlos Vargas.
Pluspetrol owns a controlling stake - 27.2 percent - in the
Camisea consortium that produces the vast majority
of Peru's natural gas from a remote jungle region.
Pluspetrol and Netherlands-based Shell, which exports
liquefied natural gas derived from Camisea gas production, did
not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Peru exported about 400 million cubic meters of liquefied
natural gas in the first two weeks of December, according to
A prolonged stoppage at Camisea could fan inflation in Peru,
where natural gas powers about half of the country's electrical
production and also fuels cars and homes.
The union said talks with Pluspetrol mediated by the labor
ministry broke down earlier this month. Union members voted to
approve the strike in the past week and have filed paperwork to
secure government permits for the stoppage, Vargas said.
Apart from higher wages, workers are demanding better
internet and cellphone coverage in the jungle camp where they
work for up to three weeks at a time, and have also asked
Pluspetrol to hire more indigenous guides to accompany them when
they work near native communities, Vargas said.
U.S.-based Hunt Oil Co controls a 25.2 percent stake in the
Camisea consortium and a 50 percent stake in Peru LNG
, which operates a natural gas liquefaction plant.
Korea-based SK Innovation owns 7.6 percent of
the Camisea consortium, and Tecpetrol Corp, Sonatrach SPA and
Repsol SA each have 10 percent stakes.
(Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Andrew Hay)