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Gas exploitation in the Urubamba valley Camisea, Peru

In spite of the locals' opposition, a foreign companies' consortium obtained a 40 years license for gas exploitation in Camisea.


Camisea is a key Latin American energy project, located in the tropical and environmentally fragile Urubamba valley of the Peruvian Amazon. This area is the ancestral home of the indigenous Machiguenga people, and other tribes, who live inside the Nahua Kugapakori Reserve. The Camisea project includes the extraction, transport and distribution of natural gas for domestic and overseas markets, heavily financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB or IDB or BID). However, local communities have suffered the serious social and environmental negative impacts of project Camisea, including: deforestation, the contamination of water sources and a dramatic rise in illness rates of affected villages.

Basic Data
Name of conflict:Gas exploitation in the Urubamba valley Camisea, Peru
State or province:Cuzco
Location of conflict:Urubamba, Camisea
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific commodities:Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Two oil wells San Martin 1 e 2 in the Camisea River basin, a tributary of the Urubamba River; A natural gas separation plant with a 44 hectares, and supposedly 600 million barrels of liquid gas, 60 km (37 mile) pipeline linking the plant to the Urubamba River; A seaport for loading gas with four 3 km (1.8 mile) long underground pipes.

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Level of Investment for the conflictive project2.700.000.000,00
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2002
Company names or state enterprises:Pluspetrol from Argentina
Hunt Oil from United States of America
SK Corporation from Republic of Korea
Tecpetrol from Argentina
Mobil Corp
Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) from Netherlands
Repsol from Spain
Transportadora de Gas del Perú (TGP)
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Mines and Petroleum - Ecuador, TGP - Peru, OSINERG - Peru, Grupo Tecnico de Coordinacion (GTCI Camisea), Consejo Nacional del Ambiente (CONAM)
International and Finance InstitutionsInter-American Development Bank (IADB)
Andean Development Corporation Bank (CAF)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:AIDESEP - Peru, CECONAMA - Peru, COMARU - Peru, FECONAYY - Peru, CEDIA - Peru, APRODEH - Peru, Management Committee of Lower Urubamba - Peru, La Esperanza Shintorini Camisea Association - Peru, Oilwatch - Nigeria
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Objections to the EIA
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Fires, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Global warming, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Accidents, Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Potential: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Proposal and development of alternatives:Social organisations, and representatives of affected communities, sometimes block the river, demanding the State and involved companies to compensate them for damages caused by gas leaks and that all activities are suspended until their safety is guaranteed.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The indigenous communities have suffered the serious social and environmental negative impacts of project Camisea, including: deforestation, the contamination of water sources and illnesses.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Law 27133

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Mineria y salud ambiental en Camisea. Spelucin Juan, 2007
[click to view]

CAMISEA: ¿Para quien es el gas? Entre el consumo interno y la exportación
[click to view]

EL Proyecto de Gas Camisea y El Valle del Bajo Urubamba, Cuzco, Perú, Reportaje del viaje de Amazon Watch, 2001
[click to view]

La huella ecologica de Exxon - La contribucion de exxonmobil al cambio climatico desde 1882. Amigos de la tierra. 2004
[click to view]

Shell Game, S. Boyd, New Internationalist, Novermber 2000
[click to view]

Peru - Did you know?, ECA Watch
[click to view]

El futuro de las tribus aisladas de Perú, amenazado por un proyecto gasístico, Survival
[click to view]

UPDATE ON THE CAMISEA PROJECT - March 2006 Prepared by Amazon Watch, the Amazon Alliance, and Environmental Defense
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Lucie Greyl
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:513
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