15 December 2013, News Wires – Peru’s Congress has approved a plan to sell off up to 49% of state-owned oil company Petroperu, with the country’s energy minister vowing the downstream player will move back into upstream over the medium term.
The Lima-based congress overwhelmingly approved the proposals, which are being brought by the administration of President Ollanta Humala in a bid to harness private sector funding for Petroperu and to float part of the company on the stock market.
The government also plans to carry out a $3.5 billion upgrade of Petroperu’s Talara refinery in order to cut imports of fuels and meet tougher environmental standards.
The administration has been vying since its election in late 2011 to replicate the success of Brazil’s Petrobras and Colombia’s Ecopetrol with its own state oil player.
“We are strengthening Petroperu and later we want to move back in upstream production, that is the exploration and production of hydrocarbons in petroleum blocks,” Energy and Mines Minister Jorge Merino said.