CALGARY – Frontera Energy Corp. (TSX: FEC) says Indigenous communities in Peru are protesting at its operations in an effort to secure negotiations with the Peruvian Government.
The Toronto-headquartered company said the communities are pushing to have laws respected that require the government to consult with Indigenous people before signing resource contracts.
“The Indigenous communities are making a presence in one portion of the facilities as a request to negotiate with the Peruvian Government,” the company said in a statement.
The protest comes as Frontera looks to extend a production contract on Block 192, an area in a remote section of the Amazon rainforest near Ecuador that was once the most prolific oil field in the country.
In July, two United Nations human rights experts issued a statement calling for a halt to negotiations on the block until the rights of local Indigenous peoples are protected, saying there have been “grossly inadequate efforts” to clean up previous widespread oil spills in the region.
“The oil spills continue to adversely impact the rights of Indigenous peoples, and the ongoing negotiating process does not give sufficient recognition of their right to free, prior and informed consent,” said UN special rapporteurs Baskut Tuncak and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz.
Frontera said it’s not allowed to intervene in the negotiations between the government and Indigenous people or speak out about them, but has been working to gain the community’s trust since arriving in the area in 2015.
Production at Block 192 goes back decades, with the UN saying old, corroded pipelines have repeatedly ruptured in recent years, contaminating water and food sources.
A rupture in February 2016 disrupted Frontera’s production at the field, with operations only recently returning to normal.
Frontera, which recently changed its name from Pacific Exploration & Production Corp., produced about 8,400 barrels a day in Peru last quarter, plus about 67,500 barrels a day in Colombia.