August 11, 2008 / 11:56 PM / 10 years ago

Peru tribes take over part of Pluspetrol operation

LIMA, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Pluspetrol said it was forced to shut down part of one of its natural gas lots on Monday after Peruvian tribes invaded it over a dispute over land, the Argentine company said.

Pluspetrol said armed protesters entered the Pagoreni A and B zones of Lot 56, located in Cusco province.

The company, the key operator in Peru’s developing Camisea gas fields, did not say if or how much production was impacted.

Indigenous rights group AIDESEP said tribes seized drilling platforms, a helicopter port and buildings in southern Peru. It also said tribes took over an electricity station and closed part of an oil duct in northern Peru.

They said the protests were to demand meetings with the government over land rights.

“We are not against development ... but first our rights must be respected,” said Alberto Pizango, the president of AIDESEP.

Peru’s government has encouraged oil and gas drilling nationwide, angering indigenous and environmental groups. (Reporting by Maria Luisa Palomino; Writing by Terry Wade; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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