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Peru to award coastal Blocks 3 and 4 on December 13


Peru will announce the winning bid for north coastal production Blocks 3 and 4 on Saturday, the government said Thursday.

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Colombia's Omega Energy and Peruvian engineering group Grana y Montero handed in bids for the lots in the Talara Basin previously operated by Interoil Exploration and Production ASA, state oil contracting agency Perupetro said in a statement.

Block 3 produces on average 2,800 b/d of crude oil, while Block 4 produces 900 b/d, according to Perupetro. Both blocks will be jointly operated with state oil company Petroperu.

Interoil began an arbitration process against Peru after the government refused to renew the company's contract for the two blocks last year.

Perupetro confirmed it will call for bids on December 15 for eight jungle oil and gas exploration blocks, including areas in the Ucayali, Maranon and Madre de Dios basins. The government aims to award the contracts by July 2015.

Peru, which has lined up $33 billion in energy projects over the next decade, is struggling to ease bureaucratic obstacles to oil and gas investment even as crude oil production slumped to 69,588 b/d in September, half of the more than 140,000 b/d produced in 1994, Perupetro data showed. September production was up 10.4% year on year, however, with the country producing just 62,948 b/d in September 2013. Companies drilled just seven exploration wells last year, a figure Perupetro is looking to boost to 30-50 wells.

--Alex Emery,
--Edited by Annie Siebert,