Eye on the Amazon

Under Pressure, ConocoPhillips Withdraws from Peru

Protest in front of a Conoco service stationConocoPhillips announced today that they are pulling out of Oil Bocks 123 and 129 in the Peruvian Amazon. The company had been under increasing pressure from the local population in Iquitos and the regional government over their plans to drill dozens of exploratory wells in a protected area and fragile Nanay watershed.

The announcement comes just weeks after Canada's Talisman Energy announced their withdrawal from Peru, including controversial Block 64 where Talisman had been drilling exploratory wells without the consent of the majority of Achuar people living within the oil block.

Oil Blocks 123 and 129 overlap the Upper Nanay – Pintuyacu – Chambira Regional Conservation Area. These headwaters provide over 90% of the drinking water to 500,000 residents of the city of Iquitos and neighboring villages, and contain fragile white-sand ecosystems, black-water flooded forests, and numerous endemic species. In response to ConocoPhillip's plans to drill two exploratory wells this year inside the protected area thousands of people have taken to the streets in Iquitos and the President of the regional government of Loreto directly requested that ConocoPhillips cease operations.

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